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Switzerland to Revise its Chemical Rules

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May 2021, Swiss Federal Office of Public Health has notified WTO of its revision to ChemO Regulation. The revised regulation requires all substances (both new and existing substances) that have not registered under EU REACH to get notified before entering Swiss market.

Switzerland is not an EU country where EU REACH does not apply. For a long period, enterprises that intend to export chemicals into Swiss market only have to complete notification (ChemO, SR 813.11) for new substances (not list in EINECS) before entering Swiss market. This will change after the revised regulation takes effect.

The revised regulation aims to align with EU REACH. It applies to all substances that have not completed EU REACH registration. That is to say, substances that get registered under EU REACH may not fulfill the requirements under Swiss chemical regulations if the following conditions are met:

a. The tonnage band shall not exceed the registered volume under EU REACH. For instance, if an enterprise has completed registration of 10-100t/a under EU REACH, then the annual maximum import volume shall be 100ton if the enterprise does not complete Swiss chemical notification.

b. If substances are used as intermediates registered under strictly controlled conditions under EU REACH, and there is no relevant physiochemical, toxicological as well as eco-toxicological data, then these substances can only be used as intermediates registered under strictly controlled conditions in Switzerland, other uses will be deemed as illegal.

c. If the manufacturer or importer is able to prove that the substance has been registered under EU REACH and transacted within the EEA, then the substance can also be transacted in Switzerland. However, related manufacturers or importers must make sure the volume of substances shall not exceed the registered volume, unless these substances fulfill the exemption requirements under EU REACH.

The public consultation for the notification will be closed on 11 Jul. 2021. The revised regulation is expected to be adopted on 15 February 2022 and officially implemented from 15 August 2022.

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