PFAS Update: European Chemicals Agency Publishes Proposal That Would Ban or Severely Restrict the Manufacture, Use and Marketing of Thousands of Broadly Used Man-Made PFAS Chemicals

In a move with potential signi cant future rami cations for companies conducting business in Europe, including U.S. and global businesses, authorities from Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have submitted a regulatory dossier to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) proposing new restrictions aimed at signi cantly reducing the introduction of per-and poly uoroalkyl substances (PFAS) into the environment. The proposal was made by way of an Annex XV Restriction Report pursuant to the regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) (EC) 1907/2006 (as amended from time to time).1

While the ve-nation submission to ECHA was formally announced in January 2023, the scope and nature of the proposal were an open question until February 7, 2023, when the 211-page proposal (the “Dossier”) was published to ECHA’s website.2 This Alert summarizes the Dossier’s ndings and proposed restrictions, including certain phase-in periods, and identi es key challenges raised by the chemicals industry, including arguments that ECHA’s “one size ts all” treatment of thousands of PFAS as a single class is scienti cally inaccurate and could undermine the use of PFAS in low­carbon energy technologies.

The proposed ban remains subject to a scienti c review and six-month consultation period (similar to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) comment period for stakeholder input) to commence in March 2023. The proposed restrictions are not expected to become e ective for at least three or four years.