July 2, 2021
by Raissa Havens, regulatory specialist, Supply Chain Insights, UL
On April 22, a presentation on the document “Roadmap for the rational management of industrial chemicals and substances” took place as one of the activities developed by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and the Latin American Regulatory Cooperation Forum (LARCF).
A Virtual Working Group for the Rational Management of chemical substances for industrial use in Latin America (VWG-SMC-LA, its acronym in English) was created in August 2020, aiming to exchange knowledge and experience among the private sector and government of Latin American countries. The group currently has more than 50 members from 11 countries.
On May 27, another webinar promoting the dialogue among government, industry and diverse associations was presented on industrial chemicals management in Latin America with an approach to risk management. Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru shared projects that have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented regarding industrial chemicals management.
A few of the analyzed themes were objective and definition of the inventory, substances to be notified, definition of the responsibility of the parties, source of information, steps for the implementation and prioritization mechanisms.
Chile presented the inventory that was established through Decree 57 of 2019, which created a notification platform within the Single Window of the Environmental Authority portal for manufacturers and importers to report chemical substances for industrial use.
This platform also monitors the implementation of measures for the risk management of chemical substances. The platform will generate statistics that will help make decisions based on scientific information. Confidential data (exact concentrations and quantities), chemical structure and spectroscopy data should not be reported on the platform.
Colombia, which in 2019 adhered to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), presented a few programs necessary for OECD members to comply with once they become members. The OECD instruments that Colombia complies with are:
- Chemical Substances for Industrial Use (SQUI in Spanish) management
- Prevention of major accidents
- Implementation of the PRTR (RETC in Spanish)
- Elimination of lead in educational materials and paints (Law 2041 of 2020)
- Adoption of the GHS (Decree 1496 of 2018)
The SQUI management tool presented was an inventory that would be updated annually and contain SQUI identification, annual volume of importation or production, and GHS classification. Furthermore, registration would be another instrument that would contain detailed information on certain substances of interest. However, the deadline for establishing this registration instrument would be one year after the inventory is set. Hazard evaluations and a program for the management and reduction of health and environmental risks were also mentioned as instruments of management, and a Resolution will be published for reference.
A consideration suggested in the Colombian case was the importance of private sector participation in developing this inventory and registration scheme since their knowledge of the sector and their own products can benefit everyone.
Costa Rica presented their regulatory background and highlighted documents that helped establish its current chemical regulatory framework, such as the National Profile on the Sound Management of Chemical Substances, which was developed with technical support from the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and with the financial support from the Quick Start Program Fund for the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) in 2008. Later, in 2017 the Technical Regulation RTCR 478:2015 on chemical products brought the implementation of GHS, the 6th edition to the nation.
Specific regulations on PCBs have already been implemented in Costa Rica since 2002, prohibiting the manufacture, import, transit, marketing and use of raw materials or manufactured products containing polychlorinated biphenyls. An inventory system for PCB management has been created for the national inventory as well.
Regarding the reduction of risk caused by lead exposure, regulations have been set, such as the prohibition in gasoline and products for children and a restriction of 0.06% maximum amount in paints in general.
They also presented their action plan for the future regarding chemical product management, such as elaboration of risk evaluation, informational campaigns for the population, strengthening of the National Poison Control Center (known as CNCI), and seeking control of illicit traffic.
Peru presented mechanisms for chemical substance management and highlighted the Chemical Substances National Registry (known as RENASQ). Manufacturers and importers would have to submit updated information that provides a basis for decision-making on risk management of chemicals every year. Certain substances would not have to be reported, such as those already registered elsewhere. The primary purpose would be to improve the risk management of chemical substances. Therefore, new substances would be subject to registration and risk evaluation.
The challenges presented were on coordinating the process with the interested parties and expert level for the elaboration of a consistent proposal. Opportunities for Peru include technical support from other countries and institutions and financial support from international organizations.
Ultimately, these cases show the advancements in the Latin American region in terms of chemical management for industrial use, based on international relevant references to help develop strategies in regards to evaluation and risk management of industrial chemicals.