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CHEMICALS INSPECTION


 
Chemicals inspection in general
 
Chemicals Inspection is an integral organization unit of the Chemicals Office of the Republic of Slovenia , and falls within the Ministry of Health. Chemicals inspection is charged with carrying out inspection in compliance with its powers, putting forward recommendations, policies and measures aimed at enhancing chemical safety viewed as public interest of protecting human health and the environment in the territory of the republic of Slovenia.  
 
The Chemicals inspection also provides expert assistance to legal and natural entities when it comes to respecting laws and other rules relating to chemicals inspection. When performing its activities, it works closely together with other institutions conducting inspection in the field of chemicals safety, both within the EU and without, as well as cooperating with analytical laboratories, research and educational organizations and other experts on chemical safety. What is more, it is also a part of CLEEN - Chemicals Legislation European Enforcement Network. 
 
Chemicals inspection is responsible for carrying out inspection ex officio, having receipt relevant notification by way of a EU rapid information exchange system on implemented and foreseen coercive measures of competent authorities and o voluntary actions of manufacturers and distributors restricting traffic in products that have been seen as a major threat accordance with rules on general safety of products (RAPEX), and based on an application, claim or communications., unless there is just suspicion that these claims have been false.
 
The Chemicals Office of the Republic of Slovenia is in compliance with the General Offences Act responsible for enforcing these offences, not least because the chemicals inspection is in charge of supervising the implementation of relevant legislation and rules laying down such general offences.  
 
Authorisation to carry out tasks of inspection is demonstrated through a n official card and a badge (tag). 
  
Generally on inspection procedure
  
Chemicals inspectors are entitled to, without any prior notification and without any authorization from a company or its responsible person, enter the premises and facilities as well as having access to equipment at any time, while – to enter their residential facilities they need a decision by any relevant responsible court or in agreement with a company liable to abide by chemicals legislation. 
  
All conditions should be created for chemicals inspectors to perform their inspection without any obstacles. Provided that chemicals inspectors meet with physical resistance in their efforts to conduct inspection or if such resistance is foreseen, they may call the police. 
 
Provided that chemical inspectors, while performing chemical inspection, establish that certain pieces of relevant legislation have been breached, they are entitled to call for measures aimed at doing away with such irregularities and shortcoming within a space of time that they set down, implement all relevant procedures in line with the General Offences Act, initiate criminal complaint to be persecuted ex officio as well as suggesting to the competent authority to take appropriate actions. Provided that chemicals inspectors establish any violation of relevant legislation or rules that falls within the remit of other inspection services, they establish the state of play and notify other responsible inspection service of their findings. 
 
 
Chemicals inspectors performing regular inspection are also responsible for running the minor offence procedure and take appropriate decisions on it provided that any minor offences have been established. The minor offence procedure may be also initiated on the proposal of those who are entitled to put forward such proposals. Anyhow, in both cases it is chemicals inspectors who decide on this in a fast-track procedure. When it comes to fats track procedures, inspectors may decide on issuing a general offence decision (this decision also amount to a payment order to be issued provided that chemicals inspectors detect such offences first hand) or without issuing such a decision because of limitations of persecution  or any other reasons precluding persecution, and because this offence might of complete insignificance.
 
Judicial protection claim may be lodged against such minor offence decision and payment order.

 
The General Offence Act lays down requirements to be met when issuing prescribed sanctions or warnings. A fine is the main sanction pronounced, and when there is a spectrum of fines prescribed the lowest prescribed fine on the spectrum is pronounced. What is more, according to the General Offences Act, chemicals inspectors may also pronounce warnings. Similarly, chemical inspectors may also pronounce oral warnings provided that they have detected an offence of little significance, and if the authorized official person believes that warning is sufficient given the minor magnitude of the offence.

 
Chemicals inspection's scope of supervision 
  
Chemicals inspection supervises the implementation of relevant legislation and rules  dealing with:

  • hazardous chemicals,

  • biocidal products,

  • precursors for illicit drugs,

  • strategic goods of special significance for safety and health,

  • detergents,

  • persistent organic pollutants (POPs),

  • plant protection products, i.e. fulfilment of requirements on facilities and equipment  of legal and natural entities trading in plant protection products.
     
     

Acts laying down powers of chemicals inspections 
 

  • Chemicals Act (Official Gazette RS, No. 110/3 – official consolidated text) and Act Amending Certain Act in Healthcare (Official Gazette RS, No. 47/04).
  • Biocidal Products Act (Official Gazette RS, No. 61/06).
  • Decree on Implementation of Regulations (EC) on Precursors for Illicit Drugs (Official Gazette RS, No. 85/05).
    Strategic Materials Act (Official Gazette RS, No. 29/06).
  • Decree on Implementation of European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) on Detergents (Official Gazette RS, No. 66/05).
  • Decree on Implementation of European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) on Persistent Organic Pollutants (Official Gazette RS, No. 4/05).
  • Plant Protection Products Act (Official Gazette RS, No. 98/04 – official consolidated text).
    Inspection Act (Official Gazette RS, No. 56/02).
  • General Offences Act (Official Gazette RS, No. 70/06- official consolidated text and 115/06).
     
     

Chemicals inspection's powers of action

 

I) When performing tasks of chemicals inspection, chemical inspectors are entitles to take appropriate action vis-à-vis a natural and legal entity where such inspection takes place, i.e.:

 

  • Examining premises, facilities, establishments, units, equipment, installations, goods, substances, accounting ledgers, contracts, charters or any other documentation, 
  • Examining accounting ledgers, contracts, documents and any other documentation provided they are run electronically and demanding that they be made in paper which should in turn be equal to its electronic version, 
  • Interviewing parties and witnesses in the administrative procedure, 
  • Examining documents establishing identities of persons, 
  • Obtaining and using – free of charge - personal and other data from official records and other data bases relating to companies liable to abide by relevant legislation and are necessary for performing inspection,
  • Taking samples of goods free of charge and conducting research of samples taken, 
  • Taking samples of materials and equipment free of charge to conduct research,
  • Taking photos and recording visual data of persons, facilities, installations, premises, equipment and other objects,
    o Reproducing documents, audiovisual records and other documentation,
  • Confiscating objects, documents and samples to secure evidence,
  • Carrying out other activities in line with inspection purpose and principles.


II) When carrying out inspection, inspectors may seize documentation needed for taking stock of the state of play provided they believe that there is just cause for suspecting any violation of relevant legislation and rules, and, if in doing so, they do not disturb any activities performed by either legal or natural persons. Inspectors are obliged to issue relevant conformation on documentation seizure; however, no documentation of national authorities may be seized that is regarded as confidential.


III) When performing inspection, chemicals inspectors are, within the boundaries of their powers,  entitled and liable to take the following measures: 

  • Ban on or suspension of trade in chemicals provided that:

    • Legal or nature person is placing on the market a substance that has not been registered in line with the Chemicals Act,
    • No safety data sheet (SDS) has been devised for such hazardous chemicals,
    • Legal or natural person has been placing on the market a hazardous chemical without it being appropriately classified in accordance with the Chemicals Act,
    • Legal or natural person has been lacing on the market hazardous chemicals without them being labelled in accordance with the Chemicals Act, and in doing so this person may cause direct grave consequences for human health and the environment. 

  • Ban on and suspension of trade in biocidal products provided that:
    • Legal or natural person has been placing on the market a biocidal product that has not been granted any authorisation as pursuant to the Biocidal Products Act,
    • Legal or natural person has been placing hazardous biocidal products on the market without any authorization for trading in hazardous chemicals in accordance with relevant rules governing chemicals, and if this person does not take into consideration the point of sale as defined in such authorization (Act 52 of the Biocidal Products Act),
    • No safety data sheet (SDS) has been drawn up for such biocidal products,
    • Legal or natural person has been placing on the market biocidal products without being appropriately classified, packaged and labelled, 
    • Legal or natural person has been placing on the market biocidal products without fulfilling requirements laid down by the Biocidal Products Act.
  • Ban on trade in plant protection products, provided that legal or natural persons do not fulfil requirements on facilities and equipment. 
  • Ban on manufacture, trade and use of substances, either substances themselves or substances in preparations or as ingredient in products from Annex I  Regulation 850/2004/EC on Persistent Organic Pollutants (except for cases from Article 4 II Regulation 850/2004/EC on Persistent Organic Pollutants). 
  • Restriction on production, traffic and use of substances either in preparations or as ingredients of products from Annex II of Regulation 850/2004/EC on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
  • Ban on use of any stocks composed of any one substance form the List in Annex I or Annex II Regulation 850/2004/EC on Persistent Organic Pollutants, or stocks containing these substances if they are not handled as laid down in Article 5 of Regulation 850/2004/EC on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
  • Provisional ban on placing on the market detergents onto the territory of the Republic of Slovenia, if this detergent poses risk for  safety and health of man and animals, even though it satisfies izpolnjuje requirements arising fro Regulation 648/2004/EC on Detergents.  
  • Abolition of irregularities or shortcomings established when performing inspection within their remits.
  • Commissioning measures and implementation of other actions for which they have authorization by law or any other rules.


 
Contact Point: Mojca Jeraj Pezdir