The authorization of CrO3 remains vastly important for the gravure printing industry. As reported in the last edition of the helioscope newsletter, leading European companies and organizations, including the Heliograph company K.Walter and the ERA (European Rotogravure Association) are driving this process in the EU under the auspices of the “Functional Chrome” consortium. It is now clear that following the original “Sunset Date” of September 21, 2017, CrO3 can be used until further notice.
The date of the CrO3 usage ban is being “transitionally” but indefinitely postponed because the deadline for publication of a final and official decision by the European Commission (including in the Official Journal) expired on September 21, 2017. This ensures the further use of CrO3 by K.Walter customers.
Despite this, the authorization procedure is still in progress. The first obstacle, namely approval by the European Chemicals Agency ECHA with its RAC experts (Risk Assessment Committee) and the SEAC (socioeconomic analysis), had already been successfully taken. Now, only the details of the new ruling are still in discussion.
Authorization following the outstanding CrO3 usage ban would require downstream users, to which K.Walter’s customers belong, to report their use of chromium trioxide to the ECHA. This would have to be done within three months from the date companies received a CrO3 delivery with a new safety data sheet. K.Walter would communicate the authorization number, which the user would then specify under his company name and contact data on the REACH website. In addition, the user can store the typical annual CrO3 volume and number of persons handling the substance.