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European Union REACH Regulation - Questions and Answers

THIS DOCUMENT WILL BE UPDATED AS WE HAVE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.

Note: This Question & Answer (Q&A) document provides information regarding Boeing's response to the European Union's (EU) REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation. The REACH regulation is complex -- this Q&A document is not intended to instruct customers, suppliers or other third-parties whether or not REACH applies to them or what their specific compliance obligations, if any, may be. Customers, suppliers, and/or other third-parties are advised to seek appropriate legal or business counsel to determine REACH applicability, scope and compliance obligations, if any. No warranty is made or given regarding the accuracy, completeness or suitability of the information contained herein, and neither Boeing nor its subsidiaries, affiliates, joint ventures, officers, directors, agents or employees shall be liable for any reliance on this Q&A document by any Boeing customer or supplier or by any other third-party under any theory of law.

Nothing herein should be construed as a commitment or agreement to perform or refrain from any action or undertaking on behalf of any customer, supplier or third party. This Q&A document does not modify or amend any past, present or future contract or other agreement with any Boeing customers or suppliers nor does it or shall it create any contractual relationship with any third party.

REACH Overview | General Regulatory Questions | REACH and Boeing | Supplier Questions | Customer Questions | Contact Information

REACH OVERVIEW

Q1: What is REACH?
A:REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) is a comprehensive regulation for tracking, testing, and reporting on chemicals used in the European Union (EU). (See Q2 for more details on where REACH applies.) This rule applies to EU entities, including Boeing's EU suppliers and EU customers that import, use, or manufacture chemical substances in the EU. REACH has a broad impact on the chemical industry and impacts chemical materials and products used for aerospace applications

The major regulatory requirements of REACH relevant to Boeing are shown below. Compliance with the REACH regulation may require Boeing's EU suppliers, processors and customers to coordinate with their respective supply chains.

  • Registration of substances
    Subject to certain thresholds, EU entities who manufacture or import substances on their own or in mixtures and EU entities who produce or import articles (e.g., aircraft, aircraft parts and components) that contain substances intended for release (greater than one metric ton per year) must register those substances with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). More details on Registration here, including the list of registered substances
  • Notification of substances in articles
    EU producers or importers of articles must notify ECHA if the articles contain a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) in concentrations greater than 0.1% of the article weight, and if the SVHC in those articles is greater than one metric ton per year - unless there is no exposure of the SVHC to humans or the environment during normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use or the substance is registered for that use. Notifications for SVHCs are due six months after inclusion of those substances on ECHA's candidate SVHC list (the list of candidate SVHCs, is linked here).
  • Communication of safe-use information
    EU entities who produce, import, or distribute articles containing SVHCs above certain concentrations must provide users with sufficient information to allow safe use of the article. At a minimum, this requires identification of SVHCs in the article. ECHA's candidate SVHC list, is linked here.
  • Authorisation to use SVHCs listed in Annex XIV
    EU entities must apply for authorization to place on the market for use or to use themselves any SVHC listed in Annex XIV of REACH. Many conditions must be satisfied for authorization to be granted for continued (though temporary) use of an Annex XIV listed substance beyond the substance's "sunset date". Authorizations for continued use are time-limited with a typical review period between 4 and 7 years. The Annex XIV Authorisation List of substances is linked. here.
  • Restrictions listed in Annex XVII
    Restricted substances (on their own, in a mixture or in an article) are substances for which manufacture, placing on the market or use is limited or banned in the European Union (if the specified condition for restriction is met). The Annex XVII List of Restrictions is linked here.
REACH guidance documents on the ECHA website are linked here.
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GENERAL REGULATORY QUESTIONS

Q2: Where does REACH apply?
A: REACH applies in all Member States of the European Union, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway -- collectively known as the European Economic Area (EEA).

Q3: Who is responsible for compliance?
A: EU entities are responsible for being in compliance. EU member state authorities are responsible for enforcing compliance.

Q4: Are other countries expected to impose similar requirements? Or more strict requirements?
A:The European Union has candidate countries and potential candidates as well. These countries include Albania, Iceland, Montenegro, Serbia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. Once a country is accepted into the European Union, they will also need to adopt REACH.

In addition to EU REACH, various chemical tracking, testing, reporting and chemical management regulations and systems are in development globally.

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REACH AND BOEING

Q5: What is Boeing's strategy for complying with REACH?
A:REACH compliance requirements apply to European Union entities. Boeing entities located within the EU are subject to these compliance requirements, but it is believed there will be significantly more impact to Boeing's EU suppliers and customers. Accordingly, Boeing is working on several initiatives to avoid supply chain disruptions and provide support to customers. These initiatives include communication efforts, identification of SVHCs and other at-risk materials in commercial and defense products, development of risk mitigation plans for Annex XIV and Annex XVII substances used in EU production and maintenance operations, and continued research and development of environmentally-preferred materials and processes.

Q6: Can military products be 'exempted' from REACH requirements?
A: Individual member states may grant substance-specific exemptions for national security reasons. Information on Member State policies relative to defense exemptions is linked here.

Q7: Which Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) are in Boeing products?
A: Boeing is aware of certain SVHCs in commercial aircraft and defense products (and in specification and maintenance materials). A list of Boeing-designed parts in commercial aircraft that may contain SVHCs is available on the Boeing PART Page, which may be accessed by customers through MyBoeingFleet (refer to Q23). Boeing also provides via Fleet Team Digest articles a list of consumables found in commercial airplane maintenance manuals that may contain SVHCs on the EU REACH Authorisation list. For specific information regarding a particular part or product, customers may inquire to Boeing for further information.

Q8:Doesn't Boeing have a "duty to communicate information on substances in articles"?
A:REACH compliance requirements apply to European Union entities. Boeing's EU suppliers and customers may need to provide safe-use information for articles (e.g., aircraft, spare parts) containing SVHCs to users or consumers of those articles. Where applicable, Boeing is prepared to support suppliers and customers by providing material, process, and product information (refer to Q7 and Q23).

Q9: Will Boeing eliminate all the chemicals on the candidate SVHC list from its products?
A:The candidate SVHC list does not require elimination of chemical substances from any products. ECHA will gather data on the chemicals' use, health and environmental impacts, and availability/feasibility of alternatives before determining if candidate SVHC list chemicals should be subjected to authorization or restriction. If specific chemicals used on Boeing products become subject to authorization or restriction, Boeing will continue to work with its suppliers and customers as appropriate to identify and support options that suppliers and customers may pursue (e.g., authorisation for continued use, implementation of substitute materials and processes, etc.).

Q10: Which SVHCs will be placed on Annex XIV and will Boeing seek authorization for their continued use?
A: SVHCs placed on Annex XIV are linked here. Boeing will continue to work with its suppliers and customers to determine potential impacts and, if technically feasible and appropriate, identify alternatives for use in the EU. If alternatives are not available, Boeing will support applications for authorization (see Q18) to allow the continued use (where needed) of those substances.

Q11: How is the aerospace industry responding to REACH?
A: Aerospace industry associations in the US and EU are actively involved in REACH compliance and advocacy. The AIA Chemicals Subcommittee is responsible for coordinating REACH activities in the US aerospace industry. Other working groups at AIA address specific aspects of REACH, such as engineering and supply chain. AIA also works closely with the AeroSpace and Defence (ASD) Industries Association of Europe website, linked here.ASD and its national aerospace associations have cooperated to create REACH dedicated working groups to assist the aerospace industry in preparing for and implementing the REACH requirements. REACH is addressed in many IAEG efforts, including Workgroup 1 Chemical Reporting (which includes maintenance of the Aerospace and Defense Declarable Substances List), Workgroup 2 Replacement Technologies, Workgroup 5 REACH Process Authorization, and Workgroup 8 (which has information on the Registration 2018 deadline)

Boeing is a participant in the trade association International Aerospace Environmental Group (IAEG). The mission of this aerospace group is to standardize chemical substance declarations among OEMs and suppliers in order to efficiently comply with global environmental laws and regulations. IAEG Workgroup 5 specifically addresses REACH Authorisation of aerospace-critical substances.

Boeing is part of aerospace industry efforts to collaborate with the European Union Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to define key aspects of the authorisation process for the aerospace industry. The results, including language that can be used in applications for authorisation, are included in a document linked from the ECHA website here.

Q12: What is an Only Representative, and will Boeing be designating one?
A: Certain foreign entities can appoint a natural or legal person established in the European Community (an Only Representative) to fulfill the obligations on importers under REACH. Boeing does not plan to designate an Only Representative.

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SUPPLIER QUESTIONS

Q13: What is Boeing telling its suppliers?
A: Boeing communicates with suppliers to remind them of their contractual obligation to comply with laws, their need to inform Boeing Procurement Agents of potential chemical reformulations, and requirements for understanding and reporting chemical composition for supplied materials and parts. Targeted inquiries are sent to EU suppliers and qualified processors directly from Boeing, or through consultants working IAEG industry efforts.

Q14: How many Boeing suppliers are or may be affected by REACH?
A:Boeing has several hundred European suppliers and processors who are subject to REACH requirements. The full extent of the impact to those suppliers (and their supply chains) remains to be seen, and largely depends on the extent to which aerospace-critical substances are restricted in the EU. Boeing's non-EU suppliers will also be impacted by REACH as EU Customer importing and reporting requirements change, and as production materials become obsolete.

Q15: Will suppliers be required to declare the chemical composition of materials, parts, or assemblies supplied to Boeing?
A: Boeing does not currently require that suppliers disclose the chemical composition of supplied components and assemblies. However, disclosure of SVHC content in certain spare parts and assemblies is periodically requested of targeted suppliers. Furthermore, as chemical reporting and customer requirements increase, and the trend towards chemical composition transparency continues, it is anticipated that industry-wide chemical composition reporting will become everyone's requirement

Q16: Will Boeing suppliers be required to eliminate SVHCs in supplier materials, parts, and assemblies?
A:REACH does not require the elimination of SVHCs in articles, unless those SVHCs are also listed in Annex XVII, and the conditions of the restriction apply to the supplied materials and parts. However, SVHCs that are listed on the Annex XIV Authorisation List, linked here, will be restricted from use in the EU on their listed sunset dates. Boeing continues to analyze the impact of Annex XIV listed substances (refer to Q10) and is prepared to provide technical support on applications for authorization to allow the continued use (where needed) of Annex XIV listed substances. Boeing's EU suppliers who use chemical mixtures containing Annex XIV listed substances are encouraged to contact Boeing for coordination or assistance. Boeing’s EU suppliers who use chemical mixtures containing Annex XIV listed substances are encouraged to contact Boeing for coordination or assistance.

Q17: Should Boeing suppliers remove Annex XIV restricted substances from supplied materials, parts, and assemblies?
A: Suppliers need to continue working to contract requirements, including process and material specifications, drawings, and other requirements specified in existing contracts. As contractually required, suppliers of specification materials shall notify their Boeing Procurement Agent if they plan to reformulate materials to eliminate Annex XIV listed substances (or any other substances). Requalification of materials can be a costly and time-consuming process. Likewise, component and assembly suppliers may be required to notify their Procurement Agent if parts, equipment, and assemblies are constructed from new materials. Flammability, performance and certification requirements may need to be verified. Suppliers in the EU must also comply with all applicable regulatory requirements which may include REACH downstream user requirements.

Q18: Will Boeing apply for authorization to allow suppliers to continue using substances listed on Annex XIV?

A: In certain cases where Annex XIV substances are used to manufacture Boeing hardware, and there are no qualified alternatives, Boeing is participating in consortia and industry groups that are developing technical dossiers that can be used by aerospace suppliers and customers to apply for authorisation. Filing an application for Authorization is then the responsibility of the EU manufacturer, importer, or user of Annex XIV listed substances. Examples of such consortia and industry groups include the Chromium Compounds for Surface Treatment (CCST) consortium, the Chromium Trioxide Authorisation Committee (CTAC) consortium, and the Global Chromates Consortium for Aerospace (GCCA). Efforts can be seen in Q18.1.

Boeing's EU suppliers and processors who use chemical formulations containing Annex XIV listed substances are encouraged to contact their upstream supply chain (e.g., chemical manufacturers, formulators, distributors) to ensure that formulations containing Annex XIV restricted substances will be authorized and available for their specific required uses. (Refer to Q22 for more details on specific applications for Authorisation, including those filed by Aviall Services Inc., a Boeing subsidiary that distributes aircraft parts and supplies, including chemicals in the EU.) Suppliers are also encouraged to contact Boeing for coordination or assistance.

Q18.1: What is the status of Authorisation for chromates?
A: Many applications for Authorisation have been filed in attempts to allow continued, specific uses of chromates.

  • Chromium trioxide authorization. The CTAC consortium has developed draft applications for REACH authorisation for several uses of chromium trioxide (primarily surface treatment), as detailed here. CTAC also released a detailed Q&A with information on the status of applications and practical information for downstream users of mixtures containing chromium trioxide.
  • Authorisation for other chromates. The CCST consortium has developed draft applications for authorisation of several other Annex XIV listed chromates, primarily for aerospace uses (including surface treatment, application of coatings, and other uses), as detailed here. CCST also released a detailed Q&A with information on the status of applications and practical information for downstream users of mixtures containing these chromates.

  • Authorisation of several additional Aerospace uses of chromates has been supported by GCCA, as detailed here.

Details on all these applications, including practical information for downstream users, is expected to be linked from the IAEG webpage on Authorisation here The official status of all applications for authorisation can be checked in the table of "Adopted opinions and previous consultations on applications for authorisation". on the ECHA website. Please be reminded that while ECHA has in many cases adopted an opinion that Authorisation be granted for specific Aerospace uses of chromates (typically for a review period of 7 years), the final ruling comes from the EU Commission (indicated in the table as "Commission decided"). Similarly, ECHA has adopted opinions on Risk Management Measures (RMMs) and Operating Conditions (OCs) (from the "Details" link for each application in the table, link to the "Summary table of representative RMMs and OCs (non confidential)"), but those are not final until the EU Commission ruling is released. More details on conditions of Authorisation are seen in Q18.2

Q18.2: What happens if Authorisation for chromates is successful? What if it's not successful??
A: If applications for Authorisation for specific uses of chromates are granted, then conditions will need to be met in order to continue using those chromates beyond the sunset date (21-Sep-2017 for some chromates, 22-Jan-2019 for others).

  • Boeing suppliers and customers using formulations containing impacted chromates will need to procure those formulations from an EU entity that holds or is covered by a valid Authorisation for the specific use of the formulation by that supplier or customer. Boeing suppliers and customers will not be able to import formulations containing impacted chromates unless they hold a valid authorization or procure the formulation from a foreign manufacturer who has appointed an OR who holds a valid authorisation.
  • Operating conditions and Risk Management Measures will need to be implemented/documented/followed. As examples, this could include facilities changes (e.g., controlling access to areas where the substances are used), and the use of prescribed personal protective equipment. As explained in Q18.1, adopted opinions on RMMs and OCs can be found on the ECHA website for each authorisation application.
  • Annual employee exposure testing and bio-monitoring may be required, and acceptable exposures may need to be reduced to "as low a level as technically and practically possible". Similarly, releases to the environment (wastewater and air) may need to me measured and improved.
  • Companies will need to inform the European Chemicals Agency that they are making use of the Authorisation to continue using the Annex XIV substances that have been sunset.

If applications are denied, then those specific uses of chromates will be not be allowed in the EU after their respective sunset dates.

Of note, the final decisions for these authorisations may not be made until after the sunset date. If you use any of these substances, either by themselves or in formulations in the EEA, you can continue to use them, provided you can demonstrate that a company up your supply chain has applied for authorisation for your use(s) before the latest application date for the substance(s) and you follow all requirements defined in the relevant SDS(s).

Q19:How are Boeing's sub-tier "D1-4426" approved processors impacted by REACH?
A: Qualified processors in the EU are subject to the REACH regulation and may be impacted as importers, downstream users, and/or manufacturers. Many critical chemical processing substances (e.g., chromates) are listed or proposed to be listed on Annex XIV. Unless authorized, those substances will be banned from use in the EU on their listed sunset dates. Boeing's EU chemical processors who use chemical mixtures containing Annex XIV listed substances are encouraged to consider implementing qualified substitute chemicals where possible. Processors may otherwise need to ensure that their use of Annex XIV listed substances will be authorized (refer to Q18) and that the chemicals containing those substances will remain available on the market. Boeing's approved processors are encouraged to contact Boeing or their material suppliers with questions or concerns.

Q20:I process parts according to Boeing specifications. Are there chromate-free metal finishing operations I can or need to switch to? What about Boric Sulfuric Acid Anodizing?
A: Metal finishing processors need to continue working to the drawings and process/material specifications process/material specifications associated with the Boeing hardware being processed. If unsure whether specification materials contain chromates, processors are encouraged to contact Boeing or their material suppliers for more information. In cases where Annex XIV listed chromates are being used, processors are encouraged to contact Boeing (or their direct customers for the Boeing hardware) to determine if alternative qualified materials and processes (without chromates and/or other Annex XIV substances) are available for specific hardware. If not available, processors are encouraged to determine if authorisation is being obtained for continued use of formulations containing Annex XIV substances (refer to Q18).

Boeing has alternative processes, such as boric sulfuric acid anodizing, which are qualified for specific applications. Please contact Boeing for more details to determine if there is Engineering coverage to implement these alternative processes. Furthermore, Boeing continues to research and test additional alternative materials and processes for chromic acid anodizing, and for other metal finishing processes. However, if a process is not already listed as a qualified alternative, it is a lengthy procedure for approval, as detailed in AN ELABORATION OF KEY ASPECTS OF THE AUTHORISATION PROCESS IN THE CONTEXT OF AVIATION INDUSTRY, linked on the ECHA website here.

Q21: Boeing is a supplier to our company -- who do we contact for REACH inquiries?
A: Boeing has several sites around the world that supply parts to other companies. If your company buys parts from a Boeing site, and you need to inquire about the composition of those parts and/or the REACH-readiness of that site, please direct those inquiries to the appropriate Boeing contact.

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CUSTOMER QUESTIONS

Q22: What is Boeing doing to support its customers?
A:Boeing has established an ongoing dialogue with its European customers to better understand their situation and support their potential compliance needs. Boeing has defined a strategy to comply with REACH (refer to Q5) and is actively involved in REACH industry working groups (refer to Q11).

In certain cases where Annex XIV substances are used to maintain and repair Boeing hardware, and there are no qualified alternatives, Boeing is participating in consortia and industry groups that are developing technical dossiers. Boeing's subsidiary Aviall Services Inc., through its facility in Amsterdam, is applying for several upstream authorizations that can be utilized by Boeing suppliers and customers who may choose to procure chemical formulations through Aviall (refer to Q18).

Aviall is applying for the upstream chromate authorisation uses listed below.

  • Chromium trioxide (chromic acid). Uses applied for:
    • Formulation of mixtures - 7 years (tentative)
    • Functional chrome plating (non-decorative) - 7 years (tentative)
    • Functional chrome plating with decorative character - 4 years (tentative)
    • Surface treatment for applications in the aeronautics and aerospace industries - 7 years (tentative)
    • Surface treatment (except passivation of tin-plated steel (ETP)) for applications in various industry sectors namely architectural, automotive, metal manufacturing and finishing, and general engineering - 4 years (tentative)
    • Passivation of tin-plated steel (ETP) - 4 years (tentative)
  • Strontium chromate. Uses applied for:
    • Formulation of mixtures - 7 years (tentative)
    • Application of paints, primers, and specialty coatings in the construction of aerospace and aeronautical parts, including maintenance of such constructions, as well as for such aerospace and aeronautical parts used elsewhere, where the supply chain and exposure scenarios are identical - 7 years (tentative)
  • Pentazinc chromate octahydroxide. Uses applied for
    • wash primer, fuel tank primer and aluminized primer for the purpose of corrosion protection in aeronautic applications - number of years pending
  • Sodium chromate. Uses applied for:
    • Formulation of Mixtures for sealing after anodizing, chemical conversion coating, pickling and etching applications by aerospace companies and their suppliers - number of years pending
    • Use for sealing after anodizing, chemical conversion coating, pickling and etching applications by aerospace companies and their suppliers - number of years pending
  • Potassium hydroxyoctaoxodizincatedichromate. Uses applied for:
    • Formulation of Mixtures - 7 years (tentative)
    • Use in paints, in primer, sealants, and coatings (including as wash primers) - 7 years (tentative)

Applications filed by other entities for upstream chromate authorisation uses include (but are not limited to):

  • Dichromium tris(chromate). Uses applied for:
    • Formulation of mixtures - 7 years (tentative)
    • Surface treatment of metals - 7 years (tentative)
  • Sodium dichromate. Uses applied for:
    • Formulation of mixtures - number of years pending
    • Surface treatment of metals - number of years pending
  • Potassium dichromate. Uses applied for:
    • Formulation of mixtures - number of years pending
    • Surface treatment of metals - number of years pending

Details on all these applications, including practical information for downstream users, is expected to be linked from the IAEG webpage on Authorisation here. The official status of all applications for Authorization for the continued use of chromates and other Annex XIV substances can be checked in the table of "Adopted opinions and previous consultations on applications for authorisation" on the ECHA website..

Q23: What is Boeing doing to support its customers on communication requirements?
A: Boeing's EU customers may need to provide safe-use information for articles (e.g., spare parts) containing SVHCs to users or consumers of those articles. Where applicable, Boeing is prepared to help customers comply with these communication requirements by identifying SVHC content in parts and products and providing safe-use information. For more information on Boeing designed parts for commercial aircraft, visit the Boeing PART Page which may be accessed through MyBoeingFleet.

Q24:Will Boeing need to report the SVHC content of delivered products to customers?
A: If requested, Boeing will provide reasonably available information. Information on Boeing designed parts is available on the Boeing PARTS Page, available on the MyBoeingFleet website. Boeing operations that are EU entities will comply with all applicable REACH obligations.

Q25:How is Boeing helping customers who need to use maintenance materials that contain substances that require authorisation?
A:Boeing provides an assessment of maintenance consumable materials that may contain Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) included in Annex XIV of REACH through Fleet Team Digest (FTD) articles which may be accessed through MyBoeingFleet. In certain cases where Annex XIV substances are used to maintain and repair Boeing hardware, and there are no qualified alternatives, Boeing is supporting the development of applications for authorisations for continued use past the sunset date (refer to Q22).

Q26: If asked by customers, will Boeing provide information about the composition of Buyer Furnished Equipment (BFE)? What about Customer variations?
A:Boeing will focus on providing composition data for delivered products and work with our customers to support their compliance needs as necessary.

Q27: What could happen if Boeing customers in the EU fail to comply with REACH requirements that may apply to Boeing articles they import?
A:Failure to comply with the applicable REACH requirements (e.g., Notification, Communication, etc.) could lead to civil and/or criminal enforcement action by EU member state authorities against the parties responsible for meeting those requirements.

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CONTACT INFORMATION

Q28: Who do I go to for additional REACH information?
A: Commercial Airplanes (BCA) supplier issues:paul.r.hogben@boeing.com

BCA customer airline and Boeing Global Services (BGS) issues: gary.r.may@boeing.com

Other BCA/internal REACH issues: stephanie.r.laboo@boeing.com

Defense, Space & Security (BDS) supplier issues: karen.m.oldani@boeing.com

BDS technical and other REACH issues: linda.m.thomas@boeing.com, john.d.patterson4@boeing.com

Aviall Services Inc., distribution and sales of chemicals (including formulations containing authorized substances within the EEA): reach@aviall.com

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