On Jan. 6, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had issued a ban on the use and distribution of five persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances - known as PBT substances - under Section 6 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The ban was scheduled to go into effect in March, as we reported back in June.
However, due to numerous complaints from business owners, EPA had granted a temporary 180-day "No Action Assurance," suspending inspections and enforcement related to the ban on one of the substances in articles, PIP (3:1). This suspension formally expires on September 4, 2021.
The strong protest from companies came about because when the ban came into effect, it suddenly affected not only manufacturers and importers of chemicals, but also manufacturers and importers of articles. Because PIP (3:1) is often found as a plasticizer in cables or gaskets, among other things, due to its flame retardant properties, countless electronic products now include PIP (3:1)-containing articles. This means that their producers must now comply with TSCA. Electronics manufacturers now have an obligation to obtain information from their suppliers, change production if necessary, or empty warehouses as quickly as possible before the "no action assurance" expires.
On August 20, 2021, EPA submitted a so-called "Interim Final Rule" to the relevant White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for expedited review, which is expected to change the deadlines in the final PIP (3:1) rule. This fuels expectations for another "grace period." Nonetheless, electrical manufacturers with the U.S. as a target market, in particular, should take appropriate precautions to avoid PIP 3:1 in their products.
In our webinar TSCA and California Proposition 65 - (new) substance bans in the USA (in german), fully qualified lawyer Inken Green informs you about the most important effects of TSCA and gives recommendations for action for manufacturers with the target market USA.