On October 26, 2021, the Philippines published the Administrative Order on the Chemical Control Order (CCO) for Chromium (VI) Compounds (hereinafter referred to as this Administrative Order). This Administrative Order newly adds “chromium (VI)” to the list of substances regulated by the CCO, and applies to a wide range of related parties, including importers, distributors, manufacturers, processors, industrial users, transporters, Treatment, Storage and Disposal (TSD) facilities, and laboratory facilities. Registration will be mandatory for all regulated businesses, and importers will be required to obtain an importation clearance. Other chromium compounds including chromium (0) and chromium (III) are not affected by this Administrative Order and will continue to be regulated only under the Priority Chemicals List (PCL). This Administrative Order will take effect 15 days after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation and upon acknowledgement of receipt by the Office of the National Administrative Register (ONAR).
The original text of this Administrative Order can be downloaded from the following URL.
This Administrative Order lists the following as examples where the use of chromium (VI) compounds shall be strictly regulated. Note that the law clearly states that regulated use is “not limited to the following.”
- Manufacture/Production of:
- Textile Dyes
- Electronic Equipment/Electroplating
- Protective Coatings and Paints
- Stainless Steel
- Activities relating to the operation of:
- Laboratory facilities
NOTE (Nov 24th, 2021):
EnviX asked the above provision of “Manufacture/Production” to the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources via email, which has jurisdiction over this administrative order. They answered that it regulates only the use of hexavalent chromium compounds as raw materials in the manufacturing/production process in the Philippines, and does not regulate the import of products containing hexavalent chromium compounds. Therefore, even if, for example, hexavalent chromium compounds are contained in electronic equipment, their import is not restricted by this administrative order. However, if a governmental authority other than EMB publishes any rules on such restriction, it is necessary to comply with them.
Requirements for registration
All businesses dealing with chromium (VI) (involved in activities including manufacturing, import, distribution, use, transportation, treatment, storage) shall register with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) in accordance with this Administrative Order. The registration shall be done online, and the model of the registration form shall be in accordance with Annex A of this Administrative Order. Businesses handling chromium (VI) that have been issued a “PCL Compliance Certificate” or “PCL Exemptions” will also be required to register again under this Administrative Order. Importers will also have to obtain an importation clearance separately. A model application form for an importation clearance is provided in Annex B of this Administrative Order. Importation clearances shall be issued per trade name of products and will be valid for a period of six months.
The documents that must be attached to the above applications for registration and importation clearance are as follows.
- Photocopy of the Environmental permits such as the following:
- Hazardous Waste Generator’s ID
- Valid Discharge Permit
- Valid Permit to Operate
- Environmental Compliance Certificate
- Photocopy of Registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission or Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
- Photocopy of Business Permit
- Photocopy of Safety Data Sheet (SDS)
- Chromium (VI) compounds Management Plan
- Emergency and Contingency Plan
- Photo of Storage facility
- Notarized Certificate of Liabilities to compensate damages
- Photocopy of Pollution Control Officer (PCO) Accreditation Certificate
- Latest Self-Monitoring Report
Of the above, the Chromium (VI) compounds Management Plan shall be prepared in accordance with Annex C of this Administrative Order. The Emergency and Contingency Plan shall be in accordance with Section 8.2 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order No. 2013-22 and Section 8 of the SDS.
Labeling for chromium (VI) compounds shall be in accordance with the DENR Administrative Order No. 2015-009 regulating Globally Harmonized System (GHS) in Philippines and its subordinate regulations, EMB Memorandum Circular No. 2015-011. Storage cabinets, housing specimens and objects suspected of, or known to be contaminated with chromium (VI) compounds shall be labelled with a warning sign that indicates “Chromium (VI) compound” and states that it is carcinogenic.
The Chemical Control Order (CCO) in the Philippines regulates the use, manufacture, import, export, transportation, processing, storage, possession, and wholesaling of priority chemicals that have been determined to be restricted, phased out, or banned due to their serious risk to the public health and environment. It is the most stringent of the chemical management systems in the Philippines, and as of October 2021, the following substances are covered by the CCO.
- Cyanide compounds
- Ozone depleting substances
- Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB)
- Chromium (VI)