On 18 December 2020, the European Commission authorised the continuous use of chromium trioxide (CrO3), a key element in gravure printing because CrO3 is used to produce hard chromium layers for printing cylinders. Since 2017, the use of CrO3 has been subject to authorisation under the European chemical legislation REACH.

Gravure printers will need to follow certain procedures to be compliant with the authorisation Decision. These include notifying the use of CrO3 to the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) and complying with the conditions of use as detailed by their suppliers.

“We welcome the final adoption of this long-awaited Decision on chromium trioxide, for which our sector could demonstrate the controlled and safe use in our manufacturing processes. This Decision is important for the continuous production of high-volume publications, flexible packaging printing (including paper, film, and aluminium), as well as decorative paper for laminate flooring and furniture. A failure to grant authorisation would have disturbed key value chains and threatened the manufacturing of several of these products in Europe”, said Beatrice Klose, Secretary General of Intergraf, the European printing industry association, representing employers in this sector.

Intergraf have produced a Guide to the Authorisation of Chromium Trioxide Use for Gravure Printers, available to printing companies belonging to one of Intergraf’s national member federations.