How do you get more details from your suppliers about what goes into their products?

Companies that usually manufacture products that use chemicals often encounter problems especially when it comes to matters of getting the necessary information from the suppliers of these chemicals about what is contained in them. This information includes confirming if the chemicals are legally register or the contents of the materials and elements prescribed quantity amounts of SVHCs are not be less than 0.1% w/w. Most of the companies have made several requests in order to get the chemicals information through sending enquiries to their suppliers via emails and letters.

Despite attempting to get the information, a bigger percentage of the suppliers never provide the information and tend to ignore the requests. Although some companies decide to change their suppliers in an effort of getting a new one that could provide such information, they always encounter similar problems. Changing the supplier is not a permanent solution since most of the companies try to ensure that they create a reliable supply chain with chemical distributors and suppliers through long-term transactions. Various companies have incorporated the rite of them accessing the chemicals information in the contract agreements hoping to make the suppliers give out the information.

Business ownership is one particular avenue that works out in case a company wants to access this information which improves the flow of information between the suppliers and the company. This is a discovery by a compliance department operating at a certain agrochemical. This agrochemical struggled much to get this information after discovering that their supplier was registering co-formulant ingredients that were not active for the REACH deadline of 2018. This company approached the issue by informing the supplier that the selling the products could not be bought if the chemical ingredients were unregistered which will in turn result to high costs that would equal the value of its sales in Europe.

The Chief Executive Officer of the supplier was forced to deal with the issue to address that problem. The company sent emails frequently including calling them directly in order to request for the information they needed. It was the work of the procurement department to undertake this task since they were well trained on how they should interact with the supplier. The supplier used to ignore the emails because they did not understand their requirements. However, the link between the company business and the regulatory compliance made things easier.

Secondly, using a harmonised approach is very fundamental in information sharing. More complex websites that contains hard information concerning the company requirements undermines effective passage of information. This is attributed to the fact that some companies rely on article providers who publish difficult information that the supplier may not understand. This prompted the need for a harmonized system to be created to enable sharing of information.

Various representatives from both the company and supplier have met to set strategies for resolving this matter including coming up with ways on how they will choose relevant material information. The council of ministers representing the European Union has urged both the ECHA and the European Commission to set up strategies that will make sure the chemical composition of substances is traced throughout the whole supply chain system.