The department of enforcement at the Swedish Chemicals Agency inspects companies that manufacture, import and sell chemical products and articles that contain or have been treated with chemical substances. The enforcement process includes chemical analyses of products to verify compliance with EU chemical legislation. This report is a compilation of two sub-projects regarding the enforcement of electrical and electronic products in 2021.
In the sub-project At home we checked electrical products found in the home environment such as headphones, lamps, gadgets and small kitchen appliances. In total, we checked and analysed 69 products in the project. 24 products (35 percent) contained restricted substances in concentrations above the maximum concentration value in the legislation. The restricted substances found were mainly lead in solders and phthalates and short chain chlorinated paraffins in soft plastic material. The labelling of the products was also controlled. Nearly half of the products were missing contact details for manufacturers and/or importers and 13 percent lacked CE-marking.
This result is comparable with our enforcement results for this type of products in previous years. In this project, mainly small companies that import and sell via e-commerce had non-compliant products. These products were often cheaper and not from well-known brands. This indicates that it is important that our enforcement also include smaller companies, even if their products do not reach as many consumers in comparison to larger companies. Through enforcement companies can gain knowledge of the rules and they can work more proactively to comply with the chemical legislation.
The second sub-project Batteries did not include any analyses. Mercury and cadmium are restricted in batteries, but there are some exemptions when the substances may be used. Companies that sell batteries containing these substances must report this to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. In 2019 the Agency carried out an information campaign where they informed the companies about the applicable legislation and the exemptions. We contacted the companies through desktop inspections in order to check their compliance regarding their use of mercury and cadmium in their batteries. All companies complied with the applicable legislation.