Swedish rules on chlorinated solvents

There is a general ban on certain chlorinated solvents in Sweden. The ban means that chemical products that consist fully or in part of methylene chloride (dichloromethane) or tetrachloroethylene may not be offered for sale or transferred to consumers for private use. Neither may methylene chloride be offered for sale, transferred or used professionally. Exemption from the ban may apply in the case of methylene chloride, and it is possible to apply for a dispensation.

Ban on chlorinated solvents

Prohibition in Certain Cases in Connection with the Handling, Import and Export of Chemical Products Ordinance (1998:944), 5–7§§ (In Swedish only) External link.

Exemption from the ban on methylene chloride

Despite the general ban in Sweden, chemical products that consist fully or in part of methylene chloride may be offered for sale or used professionally for scientific research and development and analysis. Exemptions from the ban are set out in Chapter 5 of the Swedish Chemicals Agency Regulations (KIFS 2017:7).

The Swedish Chemicals Agency Regulations (KIFS 2017:7) on Chemical Products and Biotechnical Organisms (In Swedish only)

According to the Regulations, the ban does not apply either to paint strippers containing methylene chloride that are already regulated by entry 59 in Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation. This exemption applies regardless of the content of methylene chloride in the paint stripper. The REACH Regulation uses the term dichloromethane instead of methylene chloride. 

The REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006

Dispensation from the ban on methylene chloride

If there are special reasons, the Swedish Chemicals Agency may grant a dispensation from the ban on the sale, transfer or use of methylene chloride. We can only grant a dispensation in individual cases.

Dispensation may not be granted for such use or such placing on the market as regulated by entry 59 in Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation.

In order for us to assess your application for a dispensation, you must provide sufficient reasons for being granted this. It is the applicant company that shall confirm that the criteria for being granted a dispensation have been met. You must therefore submit written documentation in order that we can grant a dispensation.

An application for a dispensation must contain a description of your business, the reason why your business needs to use methylene chloride, which alternatives have been explored, and an explanation as to why the alternatives would not do. In order to show that the use of methylene chloride will not involve unacceptable exposure, a risk assessment setting out all the stages during handling shall be attached to your application. You shall also provide a plan for phasing out your use of the substance.

The information that needs to be included in your application is specified on the application form.

Application form for a dispensation regarding dichloromethane (DOCX 71 kB, in Swedish only) , 70.8 kB.

In order to promote the development of alternatives, the Swedish Chemicals Agency does not as a rule grant a dispensation for longer than two years at a time.

Our processing time for these applications is around three months and the application fee is SEK 15 000. If you already have a dispensation and are applying for an extension, bear in mind that you must apply in good time before the expiry of the dispensation. The dispensation applies from the date of the decision.

Last published 1 February 2022