The substances (compliant) products are made of

Knowing and applying international material provisions – for compliant products locally and worldwide.

Material Compliance & Substance Legislation

An important Element of product compliance around the world

In the last few years, there has been a great increase in awareness of the environmental and health risks posed by certain materials and chemicals. Governments, consumer organizations, and NGOs have increasingly turned their attention to the use of potentially harmful substances in products. This has resulted in greater regulation and stricter requirements to guarantee product safety and minimize negative effects on the environment and human health.

In a globalized world in which trade goes beyond national borders, it is crucial that companies adhere to material provisions and the relevant substance legislation in order to guarantee product compliance at an international level.

Are you aware of all requirements?

To meet these complex requirements, companies must have extensive knowledge of national and international provisions regarding material compliance and substance legislation. This includes identifying and evaluating potentially hazardous substances that occur in products, checking compliance documents for plausibility, adhering to labelling and information provisions, plus taking into account prohibited substances and exemptions.

Material compliance also depends on the supply chain being compliant. The consequences of not adhering to material compliance requirements can range from product recalls to fines or even imprisonment. So adhering to these regulations is not just a business obligation, but an important factor affecting long-term success and user trust in a brand’s products.

Material Compliance in the EU




Material compliance plays an important role in the European Union (EU), as it needs to guarantee user safety in particular, as well as protecting the environment. The EU has introduced a number of regulations and pieces of legislation to ensure that companies manufacture their products on the basis of current knowledge, with the least possible risk to health and environment.

The central instrument is the REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals) including the SCIP database  (Substances of Concern in Products), which aims to restrict the use of hazardous chemicals and promote the exchange of information throughout the supply chain. In addition, there are special regulations such as the RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment).

For companies that want to sell their products in the EU, it is important to adhere to these provisions in order to avoid possible legal consequences such as product recalls, fines, or imprisonment and gain user trust in their products.

Material Compliance Worldwide




Legal provisions governing combinations of materials in products are just as relevant for companies as other product safety provisions. Meeting material compliance requirements is of great importance, not only in the European Union, but also globally. There are hundreds of sets of rules worldwide that restrict or prohibit the use of certain substances in products.

In the US states alone, for instance, there are about 377 sets of material compliance rules. As well as federal laws (e.g. the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the USA), there can also be sub-federal provisions in individual states (e.g. USA), provinces, and territories (e.g. Canada). So researching requirements can be very challenging.

Adhering to material provisions is not only difficult due to international supply chains, different approaches, and different limits in substance lists, but also because of the many exemptions and, in some cases, wildly differing interpretations.

The prerequisite for product manufacturers is to inform themselves about the requirements that apply in their target markets and ensure that the goods they produce adhere to the corresponding provisions. They must monitor international legislation carefully, cooperate with suppliers, and then implement effective material compliance systems throughout the supply chain.

By adhering to internationally applicable material compliance provisions, companies can fulfill their customers’ requirements, avoid legal consequences, build a positive image, and at the same time make a positive contribution to human health and environmental protection. Companies that ensure today that their products do not contain any prohibited substances will be twice as competitive tomorrow, while securing a considerable head start over their international competitors.

Material Compliance in Business Practice



Implementing material compliance in companies is a challenge. Legal requirements are increasingly demanding, while necessary technical knowledge gets more complex and more specific. You also need to collect the data required. Depending on the sector, this can be difficult, as it is not gathered in any other context. The initial investment is high. And since requirements are continually evolving, becoming and remaining compliant is a dynamic, ongoing process.

And the same challenges arise in the business practice of (global) suppliers, along with additional requirements from customers, if they supply regions or sectors where further specific provisions apply. A well thought-out approach to material compliance helps companies answer customer queries directly or automatically, check new legal requirements for their products, and be clear about whether they are meeting requirements. This allows them to be more effective and proactive, rather than reacting to queries on a case-to-case basis.

EU: The new Battery Regulation 2023/1542

Valid from February 18th 2024

Read more

EU: New substances in the focus of the REACH regulation

Lead in PVC, formaldehyde and others

Read more

USA: New reporting and recordkeeping requirements for asbestos under TSCA

9 months deadline

Read more

EU: New guideline on WEEE exemption for appliance parts

And new complaint form

Read more



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Legal Specialist
Inken Green

Product & Material Compliance Expert

Linda Kritzler
Material & Environmental Compliance Consultant

Dipl.-Ing. (FH)
Michael Loerzer

Regulatory Affairs Specialist


Our team of experts can also provide specialist support for your material compliance challenge.

Please send your request using the form here, or give us a call:

+49 30 3229027-50


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