1. Legal Basis
Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (REACH regulation) applies in Norway with the amendments and supplements that result from Annex II Chapter XV and Protocol 1 to the EEA Agreement and the EEA Agreement in general. The REACH regulation is incorporated in Norway through the national regulation FOR-2008- 05-30-516 (national regulation).
REACH regulation article 2(3) constitutes the legal basis for allowing exemption(s) where necessary in the interest of defence. Exemptions based on defence interest are pursuant to national regulation section 5.
2. Description of National Procedure
The Norwegian Environment Agency is the national competent authority pertaining to the REACH regulation (see national regulation section 4, paragraph 1). The Norwegian Environment Agency and The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority are both national competent authorities pertaining to REACH regulation title IV (see national regulation section 4, paragraph 2).
The vast majority of defence exemption applications will be processed by the Norwegian Environment Agency. However, there are a few exceptions to the general rule (see section 5 of the national regulation).
The competent authority may, as stated in the REACH regulation article 2(3), allow exemptions from the regulation in specific cases for certain substances, on their own, in a mixture or in an article, where necessary in the interest of defence.
The granting of a defence exemption will be considered only after the following alternative methods have been examined:
- Complying with the requirements of the REACH regulation
- Substitution of hazardous substance(s) with more benign alternatives
Any party that cannot fulfil requirements of the regulation(s) in question is responsible for applying for a defence exemption.
An exemption dossier, based on the minimum requirements listed in the “EDA Code of Conduct on REACH Defence Exemptions” and the associated annex “Framework for applying for a Defence Exemption from a requirement of REACH”, has to be produced.
It is theoretically possible to apply for an exemption from every article in the REACH regulation, depending on the case in question. However, in practice, the scope of an application will be limited to the remaning articles after all avenues of possible complience with the regulation has been exhausted. An exemption in the interest of defence is a last resort.
Applicants are not required to fill in a specific formal document/template or form when they apply for a defence exemption. However, an exemption dossier, based on the minimum requirements listed in the “EDA Code of Conduct on REACH Defence Exemptions” and the associated annex “Framework for applying for a Defence Exemption from a requirement of REACH”, has to be produced.
No charges/fees are to be paid by stakeholders when applying for a defence exemption in Norway.
2.5. Decision-making process
The exemption dossier shall be submitted to the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, who reviews the application. If the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency is of the opinion that an exemption based on a defence interest can be justified and the dossier is considered complete, the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency will formally confirm the need for an exemption and forward the application to the Norwegian Environment Agency. A copy of the defence exemption application will be sent to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.
When a decision has been made, the Norwegian Environment Agency sends the decision directly to the applicant, with a copy of the decision to the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency.
The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency is the point of contact for questions relating to applications for defence exemptions, and will provide guidance to involved parties in the application process.
It is important to note that parties may also be required to apply for defence exemption(s) from the Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP Regulation) and/ or the Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 concerning the making available on the market and use of biocidal products (Biocidal Products Regulation), as well as exemptions from national legislation, in addition to REACH.
2.6. Validity period
The validity duration period of a granted defence exemption is decided on a case-by-case basis. The validity duration often matches the time frame in the substitution plan.
The defence exemption decision can contain an option to extend the initial validity period. When a stakeholder applies for a defence exemption the stakeholder is advised to outline the possibility and neccessity of extending the initial validity period.
3. Description of National Safety and Traceability Measures
The Norwegian procedure for granting defence exemption will contain standards as good as those in the regulations, as far as reasonably practical.
Exemptions will be reviewed after a pre-determined period of time and granted for a specific use.
A Chemical Safety Assessment (CSA) can be required according to the EDA Code of Conduct (CoC).
The governmental agency that reviews the CSA is the Norwegian Environment Agency, when applicable.
A Chemical Safety Report (CSR) and extended SDS is requested.
4. National Bodies Involved
The Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, Land Systems Division: Guides stakeholders, formally confirms the need for an exemption and forwards the exemption to the National Competent Authority.
The Norwegian Environment Agency: National competent authority on chemicals. Decides the outcome of defence exemption applications.
The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority: National competent authority on occupational safety and health.
5. Where to File an Application
All defence exemption applications should be submitted to:
Postboks 800 Postmottak
6. Conditions/Procedures for Acknowledgment/Recognition of Foreign Defence Exemptions
Foreign defence exemptions will not be automatically recognised in Norway.
7. Number of Exemptions Granted
To date, 6 defence exemptions from the REACH regulation are valid.
8. Contact Info
Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency, Land Systems Division
Phone number: +47 915 03003
9. Links to national websites
Last Update: 14 November, 2023