Joint paper: Automotive associations call for system implementation of XML interface over entire value chain

  • Four automotive associations have published a joint document reviewing the main characteristics of the current electronic safety data sheet exchange platform, called eSDScom 
  • An XML-based electronic data exchange system minimises administrative and cost burdens in a paperless reality. 

Safety data sheets (SDS) are intended under the REACH Directive and other European legislation to be the primary means of transmitting data about chemical hazards along the supply chain.  

Within the automotive industry, manufacturers, importers and downstream users frequently need to send or receive SDSs, creating a need for a solution to streamline this process. More broadly, communication relating to hazardous materials has become more complex, both up- and downstream and within companies. To minimise this increased administrative and cost burden, it is essential to switch to the paperless exchange of SDS information between manufacturers, importers and downstream users. 

In 2010, the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA), the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) and the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA) agreed that an XML-based electronic data exchange system should be developed as a long-term alternative to the existing paper-based system for communicating SDSs along the supply chain. Such a system would enable data to be made available in a structured XML format ready for importing into in-house databases. This common initiative resulted in a new electronic platform called eSDScom.  

The eSDScom meets the requirements of two sets of EU regulations that directly impact the content of safety data sheets. These are REACH (covering registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals), and CLP (covering classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals). 

In this joint paper, the four associations review the main characteristics of the current eSDScom data sharing platform and recommend that all members of the automotive supply chain implement an XML interface into their health, safety and environmental IT systems. 


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