Notification Detail

The Environmental Protection (Microbeads) (Wales) Regulations 2018

Notification Number: 2018/42/UK (United Kingdom)
Date received: 29/01/2018
End of Standstill: 30/04/2018

Issue of comments by: Commission
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Message 001

Communication from the Commission - TRIS/(2018) 00230
Directive (EU) 2015/1535
Notificación - Oznámení - Notifikation - Notifizierung - Teavitamine - Γνωστοποίηση - Notification - Notification - Notifica - Pieteikums - Pranešimas - Bejelentés - Notifika - Kennisgeving - Zawiadomienie - Notificação - Hlásenie-Obvestilo - Ilmoitus - Anmälan - Нотификация : 2018/0042/UK - Notificare.

No abre el plazo - Nezahajuje odklady - Fristerne indledes ikke - Kein Fristbeginn - Viivituste perioodi ei avata - Καμμία έναρξη προθεσμίας - Does not open the delays - N'ouvre pas de délais - Non fa decorrere la mora - Neietekmē atlikšanu - Atidėjimai nepradedami - Nem nyitja meg a késéseket - Ma’ jiftaħx il-perijodi ta’ dawmien - Geen termijnbegin - Nie otwiera opóźnień - Não inicia o prazo - Neotvorí oneskorenia - Ne uvaja zamud - Määräaika ei ala tästä - Inleder ingen frist - Не се предвижда период на прекъсване - Nu deschide perioadele de stagnare - Nu deschide perioadele de stagnare.

(MSG: 201800230.EN)

1. Structured Information Line
MSG 001 IND 2018 0042 UK EN 29-01-2018 UK NOTIF

2. Member State

3. Department Responsible
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Europe Directorate
1 Victoria Street
London, SW1H 0ET


3. Originating Department
Welsh Government
Marine and Fisheries Division
Cathays Park 2
CF10 3NQ


4. Notification Number
2018/0042/UK - C20P

5. Title
The Environmental Protection (Microbeads) (Wales) Regulations 2018

6. Products Concerned
The regulations concern rinse-off personal care products containing microbeads.

“microbead” means any water-insoluble solid plastic particle of less than or equal to 5mm in any dimension.

"plastic" means a synthetic polymeric substance that can be moulded, extruded or physically manipulated into various solid forms and that retains its final manufactured shape during use in its intended applications.

"rinse-off personal care product" means any substance, or mixture of substances, manufactured for the purpose of being applied to any relevant human body part in the course of any personal care treatment, by an application which entails at its completion the prompt and specific removal of the product (or any residue of the product) by washing or rinsing with water, rather than leaving it to wear off or wash off, or be absorbed or shed, in the course of time;
and for this purpose—
(a) a “personal care treatment” means any process of cleaning, protecting or perfuming a relevant human body part, maintaining or restoring its condition or changing its appearance; and
(b) a “relevant human body part” is—
(i) any external part of the human body (any part of the epidermis, hair system, nails or lips);
(ii) the teeth; or
(iii) mucous membranes of the oral cavity.

7. Notification Under Another Act

8. Main Content
The regulations prohibit the use of microbeads as an ingredient in the manufacture of rinse-off personal care products and the sale of any such products containing microbeads (both as defined in Section 6 above). Breach of a prohibition is an offence.

The prohibition on the manufacture of such products and the prohibition on the sale of any such products will come into force on 30 June 2018.

Enforcement officers have powers of entry to carry out the necessary investigations in order to determine whether an offence has been committed.

A civil sanctions regime is introduced to enable the regulator to exercise a range of civil sanctions. These are variable monetary penalties, compliance notices, stop notices and enforcement undertakings.

Once the ban is in place it will be a criminal offence for anyone to manufacture, sell or offer to supply any rinse-off cosmetic or personal care products which contain plastic microbeads in Wales. There are also some related offences, for example, it will be an offence to fail to comply with a stop notice or fail to provide certain information within a reasonable period of being requested in writing to do so.

Where an offence has been committed the regulator will be able to impose a variable monetary penalty up to a maximum of £20,000.

The regulations apply to Wales, however, the UK administrations have developed this legislation collaboratively to ensure the definition of the ban is consistent. The difference between Wales and the rest of the UK is in the enforcement regime. England have completed a separate notification for regulations applicable to England (ref: 2017/0353/UK). The Devolved Administrations of Scotland and Northern Ireland have also committed to introducing a ban on microbeads and will submit separate notifications according to their own legislative processes and timescales.

9. Brief Statement of Grounds
We are proposing to introduce legislation to ban the manufacture and sale of "rinse-off" cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads on the grounds that they cause harm to living species in the marine environment.

Up to 680 tonnes of plastic microbeads are used in cosmetic products sold in the UK every year resulting in billions of tiny beads entering our seas annually. These microbeads do not biodegrade and accumulate in the marine environment because, once released in to the environment it is impossible to recover them. Although the precise scale of the impacts from microbeads is unknown, there is evidence that microbeads can be ingested by marine animals which reduces their capacity to digest food and reproduce.

Some businesses have already taken voluntary actions but others still continue to use microbeads. Engagement with the UK cosmetics industry indicates that more than 72% of major companies will have ceased to sell cosmetic products containing microbeads by 2017. In the cosmetics industry, there are suitable, economically feasible alternatives. Microbeads in cosmetics are therefore an avoidable source of marine pollution which should be minimised in keeping with scientific advice.

The microbeads ban is a UK wide ban and the intention of the Welsh Ministers is for the Welsh regulations to come into effect at the same time as the rest of the UK, in June 2018. There are no known manufacturers in Wales who currently use plastic microbeads, therefore, the Welsh Ministers have decided to implement both the ban on manufacture and sale at the same time. Whilst Welsh manufacturers will not be affected by a manufacturing ban the regulations will future-proof legislation.

A ban of this kind will help to improve the state of the marine environment and address public concerns relating to marine environment impacts arising from such cosmetics products.
The ban will afford protection of animal or plant life or health and protection of the environment.

10. Reference Documents - Basic Texts
References of the Basic Texts: 1. DEFRA UK Consultation uploaded under notification 2017/0353/UK
2. UK Government Response uploaded under notification 2017/0353/UK
3. Welsh Consultation
4. Welsh Consultation Summary of Responses
Basic Texts have been forwarded within the framework of a previous notification: 2017/0353/UK

11. Invocation of the Emergency Procedure

12. Grounds for the Emergency

13. Confidentiality

14. Fiscal measures

15. Impact assessment

16. TBT and SPS aspects
TBT aspect


SPS aspect

No - The draft is not a sanitary or phytosanitary measure

European Commission

Contact point Directive (EU) 2015/1535
Fax: +32 229 98043

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