Alternativa galvanico

A sustainable alternative to CrVI

Authorisation of CrVI: Seize the opportunity to make substitution a reality

The Alliance of PVD Providers (APP) of which Kolzer is a member, asks the European institutions to make substitution of hazardous chemicals under REACH a reality by replacing hexavalent chromium (CrVI) by the sustainable alternative Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) technology.

CrVI is a carcinogenic substance that is banned on the European market since 2011. However, in spite of this and in spite of the fact that sustainable alternative technologies do exist, CrVI is still being used on an industrial scale with no sunset date in sight. Indeed, the European Commission is still planning on granting various pending CrVI authorisations for unnecessarily long periods of time (12 years).

As such, the APP wants the European institutions to:

  1. Give clarity to the market by making a quick decision on the pending authorisations of CrVI applications including the Lanxess, Gerhardi and Hapoc applications by December 2018.
  2. Shorten the authorised usage of the Gerhardi application to a maximum of 7 years. This view is supported by at least some participants within the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) itself.

To support the above asks the APP has drafted the manifesto “A sustainable alternative to CrVI” (please find here). It aims to demonstrate that the current draft decisions – endorsing the continued use of CrVI – are not based on the latest available information. Rather, they are based on the opinion submitted to the European Commission by the European Chemical Agency in 2015-2016 (RAC and SEAC). During this time period PVD technology was still in rapid development and has evolved enormously since then.

Today CrVI can easily be substituted by PVD technologies that provide the same quality, are economically priced, are available to meet market demand and approved by the automotive industry.

Substitution by more environmentally-friendly products is meant to be the primary objective of REACH. The current status-quo means business as usual for CrVI, which is a lose-lose situation for society as it is a lost opportunity for a more sustainable Europe. Indeed, both businesses and NGOs know that if there ever was a clear case for substitution, this is the one. Inspired by what Erin Brockovich has achieved in eliminating CrVI in the US, the APP has been established to advocate for a better outcome.

We urge the European institutions to say yes to investment in a sustainable and recyclable product that befits the EU’s ambition to create a non-toxic environment. To say yes to a climate-friendly manufacturing process that is compatible with the Paris goals. And lastly, to say yes to a competitive EU that has the know-how and skills to compete with technological giants in the United States, China and elsewhere, rather than leaving the field to other countries to be the first to develop new, greener technologies. 

For any questions, please contact Willem Vriesendorp (+32 2 613 2828), Partner Fipra International on behalf of the Alliance of PVD Providers including KOLZER SRL, IHI Hauzer Techno Coating B.V., Ionbond Netherlands B.V., Oerlikon Balzers Coating Germany GmbH and Vergason Technology Inc.

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