NCEC Newsletter – December 2021

NCEC Newsletter – December 2021

Welcome to NCEC's final newsletter for 2021.

I am delighted to announce that not only are we partnering with OURAY, to offer Level One emergency response to OURAY customers but also our regulatory experts have recently conducted an assessment on the economic and business impacts of the EU Chemical Strategy for Sustainability on behalf of Cefic.

In this newsletter we look at how our Hazmat Academy team has already trained over 800 learners and are gearing up for 2022. We then look at the latest Defra announcement on extending UK REACH registration deadlines, highlight the importance of updating your safety datasheets (SDS) before the end of 2022 and have also included the latest guide to the global legal standards for emergency telephone numbers.

Reflecting back, I am very proud of our team and our stakeholders who have shown unparallel resilience to maintain business as usual under such uncertain times. 

I, along with everyone at NCEC, would like to extend our warmest wishes for the festive season, and wish you a prosperous and peaceful new year. We look forward to continue providing support for each one of you in 2022, come what may.

I hope you find this newsletter informative. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions for future content.

Kind regards

Jon Gibbard
Director – NCEC


NCEC and OURAY announce integrated emergency response partnerships 


NCEC is excited to announce that we are partnering with OURAY, a global environmental, engineering, manufacturing, and chemical services company, to offer Level One emergency response to OURAY customers, with an emphasis on the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions.

The agreement means that OURAY’s customers will receive vital telephone-based advice from the experienced NCEC team in the event of a chemical emergency and together NCEC and OURAY will be able to offer a combined Level 1, 2 and 3 emergency response provision.

Find out more on what this partnership means for our customers

Hazmat Academy provides training to over 800 learners


Since its launch, NCEC's training platform, Hazmat Academy, has provided hazmat training to over 800 learners in bespoke and off-the-shelf training, delivered either in person, via distance learning or a combination of both. As we move towards 2022, we are looking to develop more free resources and expand on our range of chemical courses to continue working towards our aim to help responders be safe, effective, competent and confident during their response to a hazmat incident.

We have a range of hazmat courses already on offer for 2022 and distance learning courses are available to book all year around. 

Take a look at the full year review here

Visit our website to look at the range of courses available

Providing 24-hour emergency response this festive period 


​Since 2004, teams of chemical emergency responders at NCEC have worked throughout the festive period to provide 24/7 chemical emergency response from its offices in Oxfordshire.

You would be forgiven for thinking that our teams will have a quiet shift during the holiday period. In reality, we receive a surprisingly high volume of calls, ranging from festive themed spills to potentially high-consequence industrial chemical emergencies.

Read more on the previous calls we received over the festive period

Defra to consult on UK REACH registration deadline extensions

The UK Government is launching a consultation on the UK REACH implementation model, which will include a review of the current full registration deadlines.  If agreed, the first deferred registration deadline will be moved from 27 October 2023 to 27 October 2025, giving organisations longer to comply. 

 Read the full update here

Organisations that manufacture or import substances into Great Britain in quantities over 1 tonne per year must take action to ensure they comply with the UK requirements for registration. An Article 26 Inquiry is the first step in the registration process. It requires potential registrants to prepare and submit an IUCLID format Article 26 Inquiry dossier for their substance through the ‘Comply with UK REACH’ system. To help you understand this process in detail, Laura, our Senior REACH consultant has recorded the video below.


Our recent UK REACH and Article 26 Inquiry webinar showed that 80% of attendees anticipate needing to submit an Article 26 Inquiry dossier. To help with this process, our experts have also prepared an IUCLID checklist for data requirements of the Inquiry dossier that can help potential registrants to prepare and submit an IUCLID format Article 26 Inquiry dossier for their substance.

 Download a free copy of the checklist here

NCEC has been involved in supporting compliance with EU REACH since it started, and we are already supporting organisations across the world to manage the impact of UK REACH on their business.  If you need help with any aspect of UK or EU REACH, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Contact us for support with UK REACH

Find out how NCEC can support you in complying with UK REACH

Future EU chemical legislation puts Europe’s 4th largest manufacturing industry at major crossroads

Ricardo, on behalf of  European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), have conducted an assessment on the economic and business impacts of the EU Chemical Strategy for Sustainability (CSS).

The data from the study will feed into Cefic’s contribution to the European Commission’s impact assessments on CLP and REACH and inform the sector’s Transition Pathway.

The extension of the Generic Approach to Risk Management (GRA) and addition of hazard classes to the Classification, Packaging and Labelling Regulation (CLP) could affect over 12,000 substances and 28% of the chemicals industry turnover.  Regardless of the scenarios considered in the study, between now and 2040, a net market loss of at least 12% of the industry's portfolio is estimated as a result of the adoption of these policies.

The impact assessment drew on available evidence and a bespoke survey of more than 100 chemicals companies operating in the European Union. The next assessment report is expected to be published mid-2022.

Read Cefic's full announcement here

One year left until grace period for SDS update ends


As of 1 January 2021, Annex II of the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 came into effect outlining the mandatory format for a SDS and general indicators of the information contained. The aim of this amendment, known as Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/878, is to align SDSs with the 6th and 7th edition of the United Nations Globally harmonised system (GHS) of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (CLP). You can read a breakdown of all the changes that (EU REACH) 2020/878 introduced here.

A grace period until 31 December 2022 has been given to update any EU SDS compiled according to the old Annex II requirements. Organisations should start the process of updating their SDSs now.

To help organisations understand their obligations, for a limited time only, NCEC is running a free SDS check for the first 10 organisations* that apply. Apply for your free SDS check today!
*T&Cs apply.

Read more on what this means for businesses

Swedish Chemicals Agency – sanctions and penalties for poison centre non-compliance


Not complying with the Swedish Chemicals Agency rules on chemical notifications , which go beyond the harmonised notifications to ECHA, is classed as a criminal offence. Non-compliance may lead to legal action or a fine between SEK 5,000 and SEK 2,0000 (EUR 500 and EUR 2,000).

Sweden is one of many Member States that has its own legislative requirements for notifying chemicals. To help our clients navigate Europe’s complex hazardous mixture submission processes and avoid the financial and legal costs of non-compliance, NCEC experts have produced a poison centre compliance report. This includes the regulatory compliance requirements from ECHA and details of the additional requirements from individual Member States.

Download a free sample of the compliance report

Read the full update here

ECHA’s SCIP database is published


ECHA’s SCIP database, notification to which became a requirement from 5 January 2021 under the Waste Framework Directive, has been published. This means that it is now easier to access  information on the potential hazards of products placed on the EU market.

The database contains over 4 million article notifications for products that contain SVHCs (above 0.1% weight by weight). The data can be searched by the article name, product category, chemical name or material type and information on safe use, handling and disposal is available.  

If you are a supplier, manufacturer or importer of products placed on the market in the EU, that contain SVHCs above 0.1% weight by weight, you are required to submit notifications to the SCIP database. 

Find out what you need to do to remain compliant

Image copyright: European Chemicals Agency

Corrigendum for Dangerous Goods Emergency Action Code List 2021 now in effect


Corrigendum for the Dangerous Goods Emergency Action Code list 2021, containing corrections, is now in effect. It contains some minor spelling errors missed during proof reading and removes several UN numbers that are no longer included in the UN model regulations, as they are no longer relevant following their removal. 

View the corrigendum here

Download EAC list 2021 here

Hazmat 2022 – early bird price ends in 15 days

Paid event
18 & 19 May, Crowne Plaza, Stratford-upon-Avon

NCEC's annual Hazmat conference, now in its 13th year, draws upon the knowledge and experience of a broad range of hazmat professionals and industry leaders, as well as NCEC’s own emergency responders and experts.

Bringing together international speakers from across sectors, delegates will benefit from world-standard presentations, case studies and practical, hands-on workshops in a friendly and welcoming environment. 

Early bird price is available until 31 December 2021. 

Buy your conference pass here

Find out what Hazmat 2022 has in store for you

Eight phase approach to incident scene management – a structured approach to safely resolving hazmat incidents

Hazmat incidents are low frequency, but high risk. Combined with limited training and exercising opportunities, this means that responders can struggle to manage these incidents, especially when compared with other, more common types of incidents.

With this in mind, the subject matter experts at the Hazmat Academy, most of them ex-first responders themselves, have developed a structured ‘eight phase approach to incident scene management’. This will be explained in a series of learning opportunities using webinars, videos and technical articles over the coming months.

Phase Date and time
Pre-planning and risk awareness Watch on-demand
Mobilisation and safe approach to an incident Watch on-demand
Arrival at the incident Watch on-demand
Tactical planning during the incident Access on-demand
Implementing the tactical plan Details coming soon
Development of the incident Details coming soon
Closing down and handover of the incident Details coming soon
Post incident considerations Details coming soon

If you respond to such incidents, whether that be as an operational crew member or in an incident command capacity, or are involved in the training of response teams, then join our Hazmat Academy experts for this free-to-attend unique opportunity.

Register here for the virtual series 

Scope 3 emissions video miniseries

Ricardo experts Oli Lockhart and Fern Spencer have recorded a series of four bite-size videos to help you understand the complex area of Scope 3 emissions. The series answers important questions such as:

  • What are Scope 3 emissions?
  • Why does my organisation need to be concerned about them?
  • Where do I begin when it comes to Scope 3?

Watch Scope 3 emissions video miniseries here


Line of inquiry



NCEC received a call from a private investigator (PI) who was investigating the deliberate poisoning of a pet as it was suspected that one of our client’s products had been used to do this. Our experience with consumer chemicals was needed to help advise on the product involved. 

The PI had been hired following the death of the animal as a post-mortem examination had confirmed the presence of metaldehyde in the body. Metaldehyde is a substance of particular concern in animal exposures and NCEC regularly advises on incidents involving it. The associated hazards along with advice on the likely solubility of the product were passed on to the PI. A safety data sheet was also supplied, with the caller’s attention drawn once again to the toxicological information. Finally, an estimation of a lethal dose of the product was provided.

This call demonstrates our emergency responder’s abilities to not only provide advice, but also to provide additional resources to callers with thorough guidance on how to use them. 

Gunpowder and plot


We were contacted by the blue light responders from the UK fire and rescue service and the police to help with an investigation involving a site where it was suspected ammunition was being manufactured. A number of ingredients that had been found needed to be checked for possible use in this illicit work.

The emergency services were attending a residential property that appeared to have been modified to resemble an industrial setting. Our emergency responder (ER) was informed that various chemicals were present. These included hydroxyl ammonium nitrate, kerosene and a black powder that appeared to be carbon. The combination of carbon and a nitrate agent suggested that gunpowder was being produced. However, if gunpowder manufacture was the objective, the formula was missing a key ingredient. It was also noted that, compared with modern propellants, gunpowder would be relatively ineffective if used to create ammunition. Our ER was also able to provide information about the hazards of the many other chemicals at the scene, such as acids and solvents, ensuring the scene was safe for further investigation. 

Our ER’s ability to advise on the illicit use of chemicals can be invaluable to investigators working towards neighbourhood safety. In this situation, as in many others, the close cooperation between NCEC and the emergency services identified significant hazards before the chemicals could cause harm. 

Ricin removal



NCEC received multiple calls from the emergency services who were investigating claims made by a member of the public that ricin crystals were possibly being extracted and refined from castor beans. Ricin is a potent toxin and can have serious adverse effects if inhaled or ingested, especially in a refined form. The suspicious activity was happening at a residential property on the Isle of Man. The remote location made a sufficient chemical response challenging, making our expertise especially valuable.

NCEC responders provided advice on the hazards of the products and the potential dangers posed by uncontained ricin on scene. They then analysed the suggested chemical process to see whether it would be feasible to produce ricin under the proposed conditions. The analysis revealed that it was likely that the process would work, so the scene needed to be treated with extreme caution. It was suggested that emergency services from mainland UK be called upon to help, as the local services did not have the equipment to resolve the incident safely. However, a coherent plan of action suggested by our ERs minimised the danger to the public and the local emergency services, giving time for the appropriate remediation equipment to be sourced.

The in-depth chemical knowledge of our ERs enabled an accurate assessment of the hazards at scene to be carried out, ensuring that no staff were needlessly endangered by this incident. 

Get in touch

If you would like further information on any of the topics covered, have any questions on UK or EU REACH, CSS, emergency response best practice, hazmat training or on any other wider chemical emergency response or regulatory compliance matters, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards

Jon Gibbard
Director – NCEC