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Ammunition Classification Under REACH – EDA Task Force Continues Industry Outreach

EDA’s continued outreach to industry,  which aims to enhance defence industry interaction and cooperation on defence related REACH issues, took another productive step forward on January 25th. The EDA, the EDA REACH Task Force (comprised of Member States REACH experts) and defence industry representatives gathered to exchange views on the topic of Ammunition Classification under REACH. Discussions focused on specific complex ammunition categories, such as smoke ammunition, and benefited from industry’s substantial experience and past work in this field.

The meeting was hosted by Nexter Munitions at their industrial facilities in Bourges, France. The agenda for the day included live demonstrations and controlled use of selected types of ammunitions at Nexter Munitions’ testing facilities, providing an in-depth insight into the design of ammunitions as well as the functioning and operating principles of explosives and propellants. 

The discussions helped in establishing a common understanding between governmental and industrial experts on the complexities of specific categories of ammunition and in identifying important factors for their classification under REACH, providing a solid basis for further EDA work in this area.  Representatives from  Nexter Munitions, Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), Etienne Lacroix Group, Rheinmetall Waffe Munition and BAE Systems Land also participated in the meeting.

The following day (26 January 2017), the EDA REACH Task Force discussions continued in a Member States only format, at the French Ministry of Defence Training Centre in Bourges, where various types of munitions mock-ups were made available, in view of further elaboration on the design and function of specific categories of ammunition. 

EDA’s work on Ammunition Classification under REACH, aims to build a common understanding of the regulatory provisions and to exchange best practices. An overall list of ammunition types used by Member States (MoDs) together with an assessment of the classification of each type under REACH, using prior related guidance by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) as reference, is currently under examination. 

The targeted outcome of this project is to establish a potential Member States’ common position, which could also serve as a supportive reference for the defence industry (ammunition manufacturers), as well as the Commission and ECHA, when classifying specific ammunition categories under REACH, in the future.

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