Given that the EU is heavily reliant on imported raw materials, the European Commission recently launched the Critical Raw Materials Act, aimed at addressing and overcoming this external dependence.
Due to the lack of own production, there have been increasing concerns about possible supply shortages and vulnerabilities. To avoid such gaps, the Act includes measures such as bolstering domestic raw material sources, promoting recycling and circularity, enhancing monitoring capacity and broadening imports of raw materials.
This is not only important for GS1, this is crucial! Article 27 of the draft law emphasizes the importance of having a unique product identifier for products containing essential raw materials. This will enable better tracking of the use of these materials, will help in the prevention of counterfeiting and will improve the monitoring of supply chains.
Moreover, the Act includes specific measures for permanent magnets, which are omnipresent in everyday life – they are incorporated in a wide variety of products, such as wind turbines, electric vehicles, industrial robots, light means of transport, cooling generators, heat pumps, electric motors, tumble driers, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, dishwashers, etc.. To ensure that these materials are reused and recycled as much as possible, hence reducing the EU’s reliance on imports and associated risks, manufacturers will now be required to establish a registry to track their usage and recycling.
We strongly believe that this legislation represents a major step forward on the path towards a more sustainable and secure raw materials supply chain in the EU. At the moment, the Critical Raw Materials Act is at the preparatory stage in the European Parliament and we will continue to monitor its progress and provide updates as they become available.