New Space Sector Working Group on the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability

Eurospace announces the creation of a new working group of the European Space Sector to address the implementation of the European Commission’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) published on 14 October 2020. A kick-off meeting was held on 13 April 2021 and Terms of Reference agreed.

The CSS is part of the EU’s zero pollution ambition, which is a key commitment of the European Green Deal. The strategy includes a comprehensive plan of over 50 key actions to be taken by the European Commission between 2021 and 2024, including a revision of the EU’s REACH Regulation on chemicals “in the most targeted way possible“. The related Commission proposal is planned by the end of 2022.

The list of envisaged amendments to REACH affects all its main processes, including proposals of critical interest to the European Space Sector, such as a reform of the authorisation and restriction processes and the introduction of an “essential use” concept. While these amendments may offer some possible benefits for the sector, they also raise a number of serious concerns with regard to regulatory predictability, obsolescence and supply chain risks. Also, the new category of “substances of concern” may contribute to an added burden for their tracking in products, as part of the “Sustainable Product Initiative” (2021-2022).

Given the magnitude of the envisaged amendments to REACH and their possible impact to the European Space Sector it is appropriate to gather a dedicated group of experts to follow the European Commission activities on CSS, including but not limited to the planned REACH revision, to prepare and inject contributions in support of European Space Sector interests in the CSS implementation process. The group shall operate under the name “CSS Space Focus Group”.

The CSS Space Focus Group is an initiative of the Materials and Processes Technology Board of the European Space Components Coordination (ESCC MPTB), a partnership between the European Space Agency (ESA), national space agencies, and space industry represented by ASD-Eurospace.

Industrial participants of the CSS Space Focus Group are initially:

  • Airbus Defence & Space,
  • ArianeGroup,
  • Leonardo company,
  • MT Aerospace,
  • RUAG,
  • Thales Alenia Space.

The Group is also attended by ESA and the following national space agencies: Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR). The European Defence Agency (EDA) is an observer.

ASD-Eurospace is acting as the Secretariat and REACHLaw Ltd. as consultant.

The initial duration of the Group is limited until the end of 2023. The Group is an open forum. New participants with a Space Sector interest, including those from outside the MPTB, may be admitted.

Contacts:

  • Group coordinator and REACH expert: Tim Becker, Senior Legal Advisor, REACHLaw Ltd., tim.becker@reachlaw.fi; +358 (0)40 773 8143
  • Secretariat: Pierre Lionnet, Research and Managing Director, ASD-EUROSPACE, pierre.lionnet@eurospace.org, +33-(0)1 44 42 00 70