1. Legal Basis
Article 2 (3) of Regulation EC 1907/2006 (REACH) provides that EU Member States may allow exemptions from this regulation in specific cases for certain substances, on their own, in a mixture or in an article, where necessary in the interests of Defence.
Regarding the context of exemptions there is the Royal Decree of 9 March 2014 defining the conditions of the application for exemptions from REACH, biocides and CLP when these exemptions are necessary in the interests of Defence.
The Federal public service Health, Food chain safety and Environment and the Belgium MoD are the Belgian authorities mandated to grant an exemption.
2. Description of National Procedure
The BE MoD does not manufacture substances. Sometimes the MoD is obliged to import substances or mixtures from non-EU countries. The quantity of imported substances is very low and does not exceed the limit of 1 tonne per year.
If the MoD expects to import substances in excess of the amount above, it must respect the REACH Regulation. In cases where the MoD considers an exemption for a substance imported necessary, it will undertake the necessary steps as provided for in the Royal Decree of 9 March 2014.
The industrial sector that would provide a substance to the MoD and considers the need for an exemption must approach the Belgian competent authorities as provided for in the Royal Decree of 9 March 2014 .
Stakeholders can submit applications for exemptions from all provisions/articles of the REACH Regulation. It is important, however, that they indicate the exact Article and the reason for applying for an exemption.
It is possible for stakeholders to apply for an exemption from the REACH Regulation in its entirety (from all provisions/articles).
Applicants are not required to fill in a specific formal document/template or form when they apply for a defence exemption.
A fee of 750 euros shall be paid in accordance with the Royal Decree of 13 November 2011 (modified by the Royal Decree of 4 August 2014).
2.5. Decision-making process
The Defence interest will be assessed by the MoD and the Federal public service Health, Food chain safety and Environment will contribute to the health and environmental risks assessment.
The final decision will be taken by both the Minister of Defence and the Minister of the Environment.
2.6. Validity period
There is a specific validity duration when the exemption is granted. The validity duration is fixed at 5 years and it is the same for all cases.
However, BE is seeking to be more aligned with EDA Code of Conduct (CoC), and how this can be achieved is currently under investigation.
After an exemption has been granted and during its validity period, the applicant to which the exemption has been granted is not required to (re)justify the requirements.
It is not possible to provide an extension to the initial validity period of the defence exemption. A new risk assessment must be carried out when applying for a renewal of the exemption.
3. Description of National Safety and Traceability Measures
The National Safeguard measures are the implementation of REACH and other laws of Belgium.
A Chemical Safety Assessment (CSA) is always required.
The governmental agency that reviews the CSA is the Federal public service Health, Food chain safety and Environment, ‘Risk management’ unit.
There is a Chemical Safety Report (CSR) requested, as in the REACH authorisation process.
4. National Bodies Involved
The Federal public service Health, Food chain safety and Environment
The Belgium MoD
5. Where to File an Application
Federal public service Health, Food chain safety and Environment, ‘Risk management’ unit
Avenue Galilée 5/2, B – 1210 BRUSSELS
Phone (Service Center Health) : +32(0)2 524.97.97
Belgian Defence Staff – Department Strategy
Kwartier Koningin ELISABETH
6. Conditions/Procedures for Acknowledgment/Recognition of Foreign Defence Exemptions
Belgium’s legislation does not recognise foreign defence exemptions.
7. Number of Exemptions Granted
To date, no defence exemption has been granted.
8. Contact Info
Colonel Geert MARIEN
Phone : +32 (0)2 441 71 80
Fax : +32 (0)2 443 94 72
Lieutenant Colonel Denis SERVAIS
Phone : +32 (0)2 441 62 45
Fax : +32 (0)2 443 94 72
9. Links to national websites
Belgium MoD website: http://www.mil.be
Federal public service Health, Food chain safety and Environment: http://www.health.belgium.be/en/exemption-military-equipment
Last Update: 14 November, 2023