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 dichloromethane or tetrachloroethylene may not be offered for sale or transferred to consumers for private use. Neither may dichloromethane be offered for sale, transferred or used professionally. Exemption from the ban may apply in the case of dichloromethane, 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 dichloromethane

Despite the general ban in Sweden, chemical products that consist fully or in part of dichloromethane 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).

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

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

Dispensations from the ban on dichloromethane

If there are special reasons, the Swedish Chemicals Agency may grant a dispensation from the ban on the sale, transfer or use of dichloromethane. 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 dichloromethane, which alternatives have been explored, and an explanation as to why the alternatives would not do. In order to show that the use of dichloromethane 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.

Permit for trichloroethylene

If you need to use trichloroethylene or place it on the market, you must have a permit according to the REACH Regulation. You should apply for such a permit to the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA.

This means that trichloroethylene is no longer covered by the Swedish ban and that the Swedish Chemicals Agency can no longer grant a dispensation in Sweden for the sale, transfer or use of trichloroethylene.

Last published 15 June 2020