The enforcement of KemI
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Enforcement by the Swedish Chemicals Agency

The Swedish Chemicals Agency inspects companies manufacturing and importing chemical products, biotechnical organisms and other articles into Sweden in order to check that the companies comply with rules and regulations with regard to placing on the market. Inspections are carried out under the provisions of the Environmental Code. The Swedish Chemicals Agency divides enforcement into three key areas: chemical products, articles and pesticides.

When the inspection is made, the Agency checks:

  • Any content of prohibited substances in the articles or chemical products
  • Product information, i.e. safety data sheets and labels on the packaging
  • Product investigations and assessment documentation
  • Company routines, for example how safety data sheets are made and distributed
  • Activity report to the Products Register and correctness of product notifications
  • Whether unauthorised pesticides are sold
  • Any permits for transfer of extremely and very hazardous chemicals
  • The way in which the company works to avoid harmful chemicals

Most inspections carried out by KemI are parts of projects of various kinds.  Some projects cover almost all companies in a region, for example a county. Other projects are aimed at a particular sector or type of chemical product or article. Sometimes, the projects are followed by a seminar for the companies involved and the local enforcement authorities.

The Agency also co-operates with other enforcement authorities both in Sweden and abroad. Examples of such Swedish authorities are county admininstrative boards, environment committees at municipalities, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Swedish Work Environment Authority.

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The enforcement of KemI

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The Swedish Chemicals Agency is responsible for enforcing legislation on chemicals among manufacturers and importers to Sweden (first-tier suppliers). In the operational enforcement of legislation on chemical products, KemI primarily checks that the product information (labelling and safety data sheets) fulfils the requirements under chemicals legislation and that the product notifications to the Products Register are complete.

Additional information on enforcement by the Swedish Chemicals Agency can be found in the Enforcement Plan.

All pesticides (for professional and consumer use) that are sold and used in Sweden must have been subject of application to, examined and authorised by the Swedish Chemicals Agency. Pesticides must also be notified to the Agency´s Products Register and the rules on classification, labelling and safety data sheets are applicable. Additional requirements regarding labelling and information apply to pesticides.

In its enforcement of legislation on pesticides, the Agency checks that:

  • the products are approved by the Swedish Chemicals Agency
  • the amount of active substance corresponds to what is approved
  • the products fulfil the requirements on product information
  • the requirements of the plant protection regulations and the biocidal products regulations, for example conditions of use and authority classes are complied with

Additional information about enforcement by the Swedish Chemicals Agency can be found in the Enforcement Plan.

The rules that apply to articles are not as comprehensive and detailed as those for chemical products and pesticides. The Products Safety Act (2004:451) states that "Goods and services that are provided by tradesmen shall be safe." The Product  Safety Act also states that it is permissible to place on the market only consumer chemicals that are safe from a human health perspective. Certain detailed provisions apply to some groups of articles, restricting the use of specific chemical substances, for example release of lead from jewelry or use of certain phthalates in toys.

In its enforcement of legislation on articles, the Agency checks that:

  • those carrying on an activity have the knowledge required about the chemicals contained in the articles they place on the Swedish market
  • there are routines to ensure that the articles are safe from a chemical point of view

The Swedish Chemicals Agency also conducts in-house analyses of articles to check their content of hazardous substances.

Additional information about enforcement by the Swedish Chemicals Agency can be found in the Enforcement Plan.