Environmental protection agency (EPA) is the main institution for implementation of the policies related to the management of chemicals in Lithuania.
EPA is designated as a national Competent Authority (CA) to perform the tasks allotted to the competent authorities under Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (OJ, 2006, L 396, p. 1) (REACH) and Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (OJ, 2008, L 353, p. 1) (CLP) in cooperation with the Ministry of Health/National Public Health Centre (approved by Resolution No. 687 of the Government on 11-07-2007 as last amended on 20-06-2012 No 753).
As CA for REACH and CLP Regulations EPA co-ordinates the activities of other state institutions related to the implementation of tasks delegated to national competent authorities. EPA co-ordinates activities related to the evaluation of certain chemical substances in order to clarify whether their use poses a risk to human health or the environment. EPA is responsible for submission of proposals for identification of substances of very high concern, restriction proposals as well as proposals for harmonised classification and labelling of hazardous substances, active substances in plant protection products and biocidal products to ECHA prepared by the Ministry of Health and other interested state institutions.
In order to carry out the administrative functions required by various other regulations EPA as well acts as a competent authority/designated national authority (CA/DNA) for the implementation of:
1. Mercury export ban Regulation No 1102/2008 (approved by Order No D1-602 of the Minister of Environment on 09-10-2009 as last amended by Order on 06-03-2014 No D1-251);
2. Regulation (EU) 649/2012 concerning the export and import of hazardous chemicals (PIC) (approved by Order No D1-602 of the Minister of Environment on 09-10-2009 as last amended by Order on 06-03-2014 No D1-251);
3. Regulation (EC) No 850/2004 on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) (approved by Resolution No 239 of the Government on 03-03-2005 as last amended on 3-10-2014, No 1076).
EPA performs functions of the national REACH - CLP helpdesk (mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: +370 706 68 081) that provides regulatory advice and support to manufacturers, importers, downstream users and any other interested persons on issues related to their REACH and CLP obligations and responsibilities.
Representatives of EPA actively participate in ECHA committees - the Member State Committee, the Committee for Risk Assessment, the Committee for Socio-economic Analysis, as well as in different ECHA working groups such as Risk Management Experts Group, PBT Expert Group (focuses on PBT substances), Endocrine Disruptor Expert Group, Partner Expert Groups (PEG) for guidance updates and other technical expert groups.
Representatives of EPA actively participate in Forum for Exchange of Information on Enforcement in the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA Forum) activities. In order to facilitate the exchange of the relevant information between national state institutions EPA coordinates the enforcement activities related to REACH and CLP and PIC implementation within the Rebuplic of Lithuania. Aiming for the better co-ordination of the above mentioned enforcement activities EPA established the Inter-institutional Coordination Group (IC Group). Regular meetings of the IC Group are held 2 - 3 times per year and the main national enforcement authorities are participating in this Group:
- Vilnius Regional Environmental Protection Department under the Ministry of Environment. Area of competence: enforcement of chemical legislations (REACH, CLP, national legislations) (http://vrd.am.lt/VI/index.php).
- State Labour Inspectorate of the Republic of Lithuania at the Lithuanian Ministry of Social Security and Labour. Area of competence: Chemicals at workplaces (http://www.vdi.lt).
- State Consumer Rights Protection Authority. Area of competence: chemicals in products for consumer use (http://www.vvtat.lt/).
- Customs Department under the Ministry of Finance. Area of competence: Cross-border flow of chemicals (www.cust.lt).
The IC Group aims at improving inter-institutional cooperation, sharing the best practices whilst enhancing the enforcement of chemical legislations. It uses the international experience and implements the ECHA Forum recommendations in order to ensure compliance with the requirements in Lithuania.
The data and information on chemical substances and mixtures on the market of Lithuania are collected in the Integrated Computerised Information System for Environmental Management (AIVIKS) database, which is managed by EPA. AIVIKS is dedicated for the state and municipality institutions, international environmental organizations and society to provide reliable information and data on the state of environmental quality and impact on the environmental changes of the state.
EPA is responsible for processing of collected data and information on chemical substances and mixtures as well as providing data to government institutions (Governmental authorities), making the relevant decisions, related to chemicals and mixtures management and control, and providing it to legal entities in order to ensure the safe use and storage of chemicals.
According to Article 14 of the Law of Chemical Substances and Preparations (No VIII-1641 adopted by the Parliament on 18-04-2000 as last amended on 01-01-2016) Environmental Protection Agency is designated to collect, store and distribute data and information about chemical substances and mixtures. The collection of this information is necessary in order to prevent adverse effects on human health and the environment. The data from manufacturers, importers, downstream users and distributers are stored in centralised way in AIVIKS.
AIVIKS electronic services allows for individuals and legal entities to submit data about chemicals and mixtures. AIVIKS portal also contains information about air, water, landscape, waste management, climate change. Furthermore, The Lithuanian Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR), which provides easily accessible key environmental data from industrial facilities in Lithuania, is integrated into AIVIKS.
The Order No D1-1006 of the Minister of Environment on 05-12-2014 lays down specific duties and obligations on manufacturers, importers and downstream users and distributors of substances and mixtures manufactured, industrially or professionally used, placed on the market in amounts bigger than 1000 kg/year to submit information annually to EPA. This information covers identifiers of each substance such as Name(s), EC or CAS numbers, composition, quantities of chemicals, information about manufacture and use(s), hazardous properties, classification and labelling and etc. The information on chemicals and mixtures should be provided directly by filling online webforms to EPA's special database - IS AIVIKS.
Lithuanian EPA is appointed as a body responsible for receiving information relating to emergency health response from importers and downstream users placing mixtures on the market in accordance with Article 45 of the CLP Regulation. Provisions of this Article are defined in the Order No D1-462 of the Minister of Environment on 12-10-2006 as last amended on 13-07-2015. This national legislation is applicable for individuals and legal entities established in Lithuania and the legislation text is available in Lithuanian only. Moreover, according to CLP Regulation there is a requirement to notify information only for importers and downstream users, placing mixtures on the market. Information should be provided in Lithuanian via internet using IS AIVIKS. Furthermore, such notification is free of charge.