RPA is assisting Work Group 5 of the International Aerospace Environmental Group (IAEG) with an ongoing set of studies to map the supply chain for multiple compounds of concern used in the aerospace sector. The core aim of each study is to allow IAEG WG5 to understand the potential impact on the aerospace industry and its supply chain from a particular REACH Annex XIV listing, as well as the broader market for the substance(s) being assessed. These outputs may be used to formulate decisions and feed into any potential future REACH Authorisation activities.
The studies incorporate three core stages; preliminary research and mapping, consultation and market analysis. So far, studies have been completed for refractory ceramic fibres and borates. Work on HHPA/MHHPA and cadmium/cadmium compounds is ongoing.
Preliminary research and mapping activities typically concentrate on publicly available information (i.e. supporting documentation and relevant REACH public consultation inputs and responses) associated with the relevant substance(s), but also include a broader search of literature. This stage identifies the key issues, uses and stakeholders and ensures that the documentation and strategy for consultation activities are effective and appropriately focused.
Consultation activities have varied on a substance by substance basis, but most recently the approach has been to start with a webinar to encourage participation, and to follow this up with two-phases of consultation. Phase 1 is used to gather basic details and Phase 2 establishes core information.
Based on the information collected from consultation and desk based research, market analyses are then undertaken. To date, these have explored several key issues, such as:
- The relevance and scope of potential exemptions from the requirements of Authorisation;
- An identification and overview of relevant uses of the substance(s) of concern and its/their importance to the aerospace industry;
- The market and commercial availability of alternatives;
- An overview of the supply chain structure and key supply chain considerations.