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1. Legal Basis

Article 2 (3) of Regulation no. 1907/2006/EC (REACH) stipulates that Member States may allow for 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. In 2015, EDA established a Code of Conduct (CoC) harmonizing the Defence exemption procedure among the EU/EDA participating Member States and along with its annexed technical framework for applying for a defence exemption, it was adopted by the Hellenic Ministry of Defence.

In Article 22 of the Greek Law ν.4819/2021, which regulates waste management in general and transposes, among others, Directive (EU) 2018/851 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 2008/98/EC on waste, there is the provision that every supplier of articles containing substances of very high concern (SVHCs) in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight (w/w) on the EU market, has to submit information on these articles to ECHA (SCIP database). Furthermore, in Article 72 of the above law it is established that by a joint ministerial decision of the Ministers of Defence, Finance and Environment, exemptions can be granted from Article 22 provision on SCIP database.

2. Description of National Procedure

2.1. Overview

Defence exemptions from REACH are regulated with a joint ministerial decision that was signed in 2022 by the Ministers of Finance, Defence and Environment. All former decisions were annulled and merged in the new decision that also includes exemption provisions from the notification to the SCIP database. The decision has 8 Articles and an Annex.

2.2. Scope

Stakeholders can apply for a defence exemption from the following provisions/articles of the REACH Regulation:

  • Article 33 notifications in the supply chain
  • Article 66(1) notifications
  • Registration
  • Authorisation
  • Restriction

Defence exemption applications are submitted for specific substances that are necessary for the functionality of military equipment.

It is possible for stakeholders to apply for an exemption from the REACH Regulation in its entirety (from all provisions/articles). Such demands are considered and examined on the basis of national defence interests.

2.3. Template/Form

Applicants are not required to fill in a specific formal document/template or form when they apply for a defence exemption.

2.4. Charges/Fees

No fees need to be paid by stakeholders to the Ministry of Defence, but a complete case file must be submitted.

2.5. Decision-making process

In the joint ministerial decision that was signed in 2022 by the Ministers of Finance, Defence and Environment Article 1 describes the general framework of the requirements in order to grant a defence exemption.

These exemptions can be granted with joint ministerial decisions of:

  1. The Ministers of Finance and Defence, for certain substances on their own, in a mixture or an article.
  2. The Ministers of Finance, Defence and Environment-Energy for certain substances that are contained in articles, as for the obligation of a supplier of these articles to submit information to ECHA, as described in paragraph 1 of article 33 of the REACH Regulation and in paragraph 1 of article 22 of national law 4819/2021 (Α’΄ 129).

Issuing a defence exemption is the “last resort” after examining and exploiting any other possibilities (mainly substitution and authorisation).

Article 2 regulates the process (application, technical review of the dossier and final approval). There are two sorts of applicants: either the applicant is the Ministry of Defence itself or the applicant is a legal entity (usually a defence industry).

In both cases, the Hellenic Competent Authority for REACH (DG of General Chemical State Laboratory of the Independent Authority of Public Revenue – GCSL/IAPR) is the final recipient of the application’s documents and forwards them to the Minister of Finance for final approval, after thorough examination.

2.6. Validity period

There is a specific validity duration when the exemption is granted.

Article 3 sets the framework for the periodic re-evaluation of the defence exemptions already granted. The exemptions are valid for 4 years and after that period, they are re-evaluated. During the fourth year period that the exemption is valid (in February, in particular), the applicants that were granted these exemptions are to submit an updated document to the GCSL/IARP regarding the necessity or not to retain them. If the above date passes without any action by the applicants, the exemptions are recalled.

Moreover, whenever there are changes in the hazard assessment, or new restrictions are applied by competent authority a new hazard assessment must be conducted by the applicant.Extension
There is a possibility to provide an extension to the initial validity period of the defence exemption.

To apply for an extention, it is required to submit a formal letter to the General Directorate of General Chemical State Laboratory (Ministry of Finance). The content of the letter must explain the reasons for the extension request (Justification letter and/or hazard assesment).

3. Description of National Safety and Traceability Measures

The Annex of the new Decision is the exact endorsement of the Technical Dossier of the EDA CoC requirements, concerning the tonnage and the classification for the levels of hazard, for the chemicals associated.
In certain cases/under certain conditions, a Chemical Safety Assessment (CSA) is required.

Whether it is required depends on the hazard level of the substance [CLP registered dangerous substance included in the criteria (a) to (f) of Article 57, or registered to Annex XIV and/or Annex XVII of REACH] and the quantitative scale of annual use (>10tn/yr)). Above level 2 of substance hazard categorization and over 10tn/year production.

The General Directorate of General Chemical State Laboratory (Ministry of Finance) is the governmental agency that reviews the CSA.

A Chemical Safety Report (CSR) is requested, like in the REACH authorisation process.

4. National Bodies Involved

Hellenic MoD’s Department of Infrastructure is primarily responsible for conducting the required coordination of all the involved parties within the EL MoD. It is also the official contact point of the MoD with the REACH National Regulatory Authority (DG of General Chemical State Laboratory of the Independent Authority of Public Revenue – GCSL/IAPR).

5. Where to File an Application

The process is described in Article 2 of the decision. The applications are to be submitted to the Hellenic MoD’s Department of Infrastructure of the Directorate of Military and Technological Support (DMTS) of the General Directorate of Financial Planning and Support (GDFPS). In the case of the applicant being the defence industry, the above application is carbon copied to the Directorate of Defence Investments and Technological Research (DDITR) of the General Directorate for Defense Investments and Armaments (GDDIA). All applications can be submitted to the following address:

Ministry of National Defence
General Directorate of Financial Planning and Support
Directorate of Military and Technological Support
Departement of Infrastructure
227-231 Mesogeion Av
P.O. 15561, Cholargos, GREECE

6. Conditions/Procedures for Acknowledgment/Recognition of Foreign Defence Exemptions

Mutual acknowledgement procedure and respective requirements are described in Article 4 of the Decision. The minimum requirements for acknowledging another Member State’s exemptions are the technical and administrative provisions described in the Annex of the Decision and are the exact content of the Technical Dossier of the EDA CoC.

7. Number of Exemptions Granted

A number of 49 exemptions (for the use of 49 substances) have been already granted to the Greek defence Industry since 2010. The validity period of these exemptions expired and they have been recalled.

New exemption applications for substances used by the Hellenic Armed Forces and the defence industry were submitted in 2022, are currently being examined by the competent authority and expected to be granted in 2023.

8. Contact Info

REACH POC in the Hellenic MoD: Lt. Col. Marios BONATSOS (EL Army)
General Directorate of Financial Planning and Support
Directorate of Military and Technological Support
Department of Infrastructure

Deputy REACH POC in the Hellenic MoD: Lt (HAF) Konstantina PAPADIMITRIOU (EL Air Force)
General Directorate of Economic Planning and Support
Directorate of Military and Technological Support
Department of Infrastructure


9. Links to national websites

Official website of the Helenic MoD:  and
Official website of the GCSL:


Last Update: 14 November, 2023