From new acts regulating supply chains to new standards for market surveillance, the 2023 product compliance landscape will see many changes that will impact your business.
If you aren’t prepared for the coming changes, you could see broken customer relationships, supply chain delays, or even loss of market access. You will need to prepare your products and your product compliance processes now so you are ready for changes in regulations and enforcement.
Here are the top five 2023 product compliance changes you should be aware of and begin preparing for, if you haven’t already.
The European Supply Chain Act
In 2023, we will see new acts regulating supply chains gain more momentum. These acts are aimed at increasing transparency regarding human rights violations and environmentally harmful practices. Already, Germany has introduced the German Supply Chain Act, which entered into force on January 1, 2023.
In December 2022, the European Council adopted a draft of the European Supply Chain Act. In May of 2023, the Act will go before the European Parliament. After the Act is in place, it is expected that member states will have two years to transpose the Act into law.
If either your headquarters or main branch is located in Germany, you will need to begin complying with the German Supply Chain Act immediately. However, other companies should also begin surveying and cleaning up their supply chains now in anticipation of future regulations such as the European Supply Chain Act.
Increased EU Market Surveillance
In 2019, the EU Market Surveillance Regulation (MSR) was introduced. This act is aimed at standardizing regulatory enforcement across jurisdictions in the EU. However, because of resource constraints, enforcement agencies have not been able to keep up with the MSR expectations.
Now, the EU is introducing a group entirely dedicated to enforcing EU chemical regulations: the European Audit Capacity (EAC). This means that EU companies and manufacturers will likely see more stringent market surveillance going forward. You will need to be prepared for increased audits and make plans to replace any REACH (Regulation, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals) Candidate List substances of very high concern (SVHC) in your products.
Plans are also being made to revamp REACH, creating a new version of this regulation that will formally include the new EAC unit. While this revision is not expected to go into effect in 2023, it is a sign that the regulation will be evolving as the compliance landscape continues to change.
For several years now, scientists have been ringing the alarm bell about the presence of PFAS (per and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in products we use every day. PFAS, also known as forever chemicals, are known to be harmful to human health and the environment. Because these substances have strong chemical bonds, it is difficult to break them down, and therefore they persist in the environment.
In 2023, we will likely see new PFAS regulations introduced across the world, in both national and local jurisdictions. Recently, many governments have taken action against PFAS. The United State Environmental Protection Agency has created a PFAS Strategic Roadmap, the state of Maine has introduced An Act to Stop Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances Pollution, and the European Union is expecting a proposal from several member states in 2023 to further restrict PFAS.
As the health crises trigged by PFAS continue to build, we can expect these restrictions to become stricter. If you have PFAS in your products and have not already begun to replace them with alternative substances, now is the time to start.
More Conflict Minerals Requirements
Your conflict minerals reporting may also see changes in 2023. While there is currently no new proposed legislation that would change the regulations of the traditional 3TG (tin, tantalum, tungsten, and gold) conflict minerals, focus is growing on other potential conflict minerals such as cobalt and mica.
You may see customers require reporting on cobalt and mica, and you’ll need to provide that data to them to keep your customer/supplier relationship strong. If cobalt and mica requirements are new to you, learn more about the Extended Minerals Reporting Template or contact our experts at [email protected].
Possible Changes to RoHS
We could see changes to the EU’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive in 2023. In 2022, RoHS underwent a review and public consultation to evaluate its effectiveness, and this could result in a new version of RoHS (RoHS 3) being introduced. It could also introduce RoHS as an EU-wide regulation, as opposed to its current status as a directive (from which individual member states create their own regulations).
New RoHS requirements could mean major supply chain changes for manufacturers across the EU. The best way you can prepare for possible changes is to make sure your supply chain data is in order now. Then, when changes to RoHS are introduced, you can easily communicate with the appropriate suppliers to make any necessary adjustments.
Get Product Compliance Support
The changes we may see in the compliance landscape during 2023 are wide-ranging and will require companies to adjust supply chain logistics, data acquisition, and reporting processes. Preparing for these possible changes at the beginning of the year will give you a head start, enabling you to smoothly adapt to new requirements and regulations.
If you need help establishing sustainable compliance processes, understanding your compliance requirements in 2023, or growing your compliance program to meet new challenges, contact Tetra Tech’s product compliance experts at [email protected]. We can help you find solutions that meet your needs, from helping you communicate with your supply chain to providing compliance training to your employees and more.