ChromeXtend News

CURRENT INFORMATION ON CHROMIUM(VI) AUTHORIZATION

April 2020
Current information regarding the CTAC substitution plan and ChromeXtend

During the past week, you might have received an information letter from the CTACSub Consortium asking you to prepare a substitution plan for chromium trioxide. The European Commission has decided that the authorization procedure will be suspended until a substitution strategy has been drafted by CTACSub. The request to draft a substitution plan concerns initially only those companies which fall under CTAC Use 3, the functional chromium plating with decorative character. The European rotogravure and embossing industry is consequently not affected since it is covered by Use 2, the functional hard chromium plating. We are anticipating a similar development for Use 2, which will further delay a decision by the European Commission on the use of chromium trioxide. You will be informed as soon as there are any new developments in this regard.

 

Despite the current circumstances, work on ChromeXtend is progressing. At the moment, data is being collected from the gravure and embossing form manufacturers with the aim of providing a detailed picture of the industry in the authorization dossier. If you have not yet participated in the survey, we kindly ask you to do so until the end of April 2020. Only through the support of all companies can we achieve the longest possible approval period. You received your individualized links for the anonymous participation last on 18 March from chromeXtend@ramboll.com.

 

Owing to the Corona Pandemic the ERA Event CTA – Chromium Trioxide Authorization Symposium in Munich had to be postponed. As soon as the European travel restrictions have been lifted, we will announce a new date together with the ERA to present our authorization application and inform you about the latest developments at CTACSub.

 

We will keep you up to date on how the application is progressing in this newsletter and at www.kwalter.de. Should you have any specific questions on this matter, you can also e-mail our project manager Dr. Julian Rotter at any time at j.rotter@kwalter.de.

February 2020
Current status regarding CTAC and ChromeXtend, the chromium(VI) authorization application for gravure in the EU

ChromeXtend is an industry initiative by K.Walter to enable the gravure and embossing sector to continue using chromium(VI)/chromium trioxide in the long term beyond 2024.

 

The European Commission has still not reached a decision regarding the review period for CTAC, and no agreement is expected before April. Despite these circumstances, we are still assuming the CTAC authorization will end in September 2024.

 

Regardless of this, preparation of the dossier for the ChromeXtend authorization application is well underway. The fact that over 120 production sites in the EU are dependent on the continued authorization of chromium trioxide makes it clear how important the application is for gravure printing in the EU.

 

The high process reliability of gravure electroplating in general – and the low consumption of chromium trioxide during cylinder manufacturing in particular – demonstrate that a specific industry application such as ChromeXtend is the right solution to ensure the long-term use of chromium trioxide. For example, the some 180 metric tons of chromium trioxide used each year to produce 1.25 million gravure cylinders accounts for just 1.5 percent of the total amount of chromium trioxide imported into the EU.

 

To prepare the dossier, various data needs to be collected from gravure form manufacturers so as to provide an accurate picture of our sector and obtain the longest possible authorization period. The data requested includes information such as the chemical risks when using chromium trioxide and the expected economic consequences of banning this substance. Our partner Ramboll will collect this data using the SurveyXact platform, save it in an anonymized form, and pass on the aggregated results to K.Walter. The relevant companies will be receiving an invitation to participate in the survey directly from Ramboll on February 25, 2020. A number of videos are also being prepared to help answer the questions. In all our interests, we would ask for your active participation.

 

A further key date in this connection is March 19, 2020, when the ERA will be hosting an event at NH Hotel Bavaria in Munich and will join K.Walter in presenting the ChromeXtend application and the results of the survey. The potential best practice when using chromium trioxide is also to be clarified during a discussion to further improve the safety standards. Other planned items on the agenda include a presentation relating to the necessary workplace exposure measurements and a user report from Hansgrohe SE, which received authorization for decorative chromium plating one year ago and has passed the first safety review. To register for the symposium and for further details, go to the ERA website at https://era-eu.org/current-events/cta-chromium-trioxide-authorization-meeting/1340/

 

We will keep you up to date on how the application is progressing in this newsletter and at www.kwalter.de. Should you have any specific questions on this matter, you can also e-mail our project manager Dr. Julian Rotter at any time at j.rotter@kwalter.de.

September 2019
ChromeXtend – the Chromium(VI) authorization application for gravure in the EU

ChromeXtend is an initiative launched by K.Walter to secure an authorization from the European Commission that is tailored to the specific requirements of the gravure and embossing industry. The aim is to enable continued long-term use of chromium(VI), beyond 2024, in line with the highest possible safety standards.

 

Until there is a field-tested alternative, chromium(VI)-based electrolysis is the only way of chrome plating engraved gravure cylinders and embossing cylinders. Gravure printing only accounts for around one percent of all industrial chromium(VI) applications. It already satisfies very high safety standards compared with other industrial applications and, in our view, would derive no benefit from authorizations in other sectors. In our customers’ interests, we have therefore launched the ChromeXtend initiative to apply to the European Commission for long-term authorization of the chromium(VI) process beyond 2024. Our aim is to ensure our customers are not taking a financial risk if they justifiably opt to continue using gravure printing at the end of the current authorization phase. The ERA (European Rotogravure Association) is helping us with our application.

 

To ensure this application for authorization has a chance of securing a positive ruling from the EU Commission, we need the cooperation and active assistance of the entire gravure and embossing sector. We will therefore be contacting companies that use chrome plating during the authorization process – both directly and through the ERA – and asking them to supply us with information.

 

We will keep you up to date on how the application is progressing in our helioscope newsletter and at www.kwalter.de. Should you have any specific questions on this matter, please feel free to contact us at any time by emailing chrome@kwalter.de.

 

Please also take a look at our factsheet “Everything you need to know about chromium”, which you can download here.

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