New German chemical sanctions ordinance
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The German Federal Environment Agency has introduced new sanctions for chemical users who breach their obligations under the terms of REACH.
From now on, anyone who breaches the REACH substance restrictions is committing a criminal offence and will be punished with a fine or a prison sentence of up to two years. If the life or health of other people or property belonging to third parties has deliberately been put at risk, imprisonment for a maximum of five years is possible. Anyone who acts illegally, for example by failing to disclose information to customers and users will be subject to a fine of up to EUR 50,000. These regulations form part of the new German chemical sanctions ordinance (known as ChemSanktionsV) which came into effect on 1 May 2013. It governs criminal offences and less serious illegal activities relating to various pieces of European legislation including REACH, the regulation on chemicals.
Article 5 of the new ordinance covers criminal offences in relation to restrictions and Article 6 lists the various illegal activities which are subject to the imposition of fines. These less serious illegal activities include the failure to report information to the European Chemicals Agency, the failure to meet a variety of obligations relating to the supply chain (for example, the safety data sheet and downstream users) and the failure to disclose to customers information about substances of very high concern in products.