What is the ESR?

In 1993 the Council adopted Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 or the ESR (Existing Substances Regulation), thereby introducing a comprehensive framework for the evaluation and control of "existing" chemical substances. The Regulation was intended to complement the already existing rules governed by Council Directive 67/548/EEC for "new" chemical substances. An "Existing" chemical substance is in the EU defined as any chemical substance listed in the EINECS (European INventory of Existing Commercial chemical Substances), an inventory containing 100 204 substances.

More details of the operation of the ESR can be found on the European Commission Joint Research Centre website.

Note that since the operational launch of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) on 1st of June 2008, Council Regulation (EEC) 793/93 on Existing Substances has been revoked and replaced by the Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation,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 (REACH).

As part of the ESR, the three major commercial brominated flame retardants Deca-BDE, TBBPA and HBCD were subjected to Risk Assessment and where appropriate to Risk Reduction measures.