What is new in a nutshell
The new version of the ESCom Standard Phrase Catalogue contains minor changes and improvements compared to Catalogue v2.2. The changes from version 2.2 to 2.3 consist of :
- 17 new phrases,
- 2 modifications of existing phrases and inactivation of 5 phrases.
As a result, version 2.3 of the ESCom standard phrase catalogue contains 2482 phrases, 1667 of which are active phrases, and 815 are inactive.
Changes and improvements highlights:
- A first set of phrases for qualitative assessments has been completed to support qualitative assessments; this set will be further extended in the next release of the catalogue,
Note that the catalogue can also be downloaded as a Chesar import file, allowing the use of the ESCom standard phrases in Chesar
ECHA’s Chemical Safety Assessment and Reporting tool, Chesar
- The catalogue has been extended with a limited number standard phrases (Exposure Estimation), to support the use of Chesar,
- The decision has been taken not to develop phrases for measures to control physicochemical risks, except for one. This phrase will refer to the main body of the SDS for information on measures to control physicochemical risks.
For more information on changes, read the “Release note ESCom V2.3”
What is the ESCom Package?
The ESCom standard for the exchange of Exposure Scenario (ES) data between IT systems has been developed to enable consistent and harmonised communication of ES information throughout the supply chain. This is a key process for the successful implementation of REACH.
It is aimed at providing standard phrases on the safe use of chemicals in the extended safety data sheet. This is one of the activities taking place in the context of the CSR/ES Roadmap, particularly Action area 3 http://echa.europa.eu/web/guest/csr-es-roadmap/action-area-3
The standard consists of two components (further explained below):
1. "ESCom standard phrase catalogue"
covering the standard phrases for exposure scenario content, is being maintained and further developed under the leadership of Cefic and DUCC with the objective to develop standard phrases to be applied for exposure scenarios.
2. "ESCom XML standard"
the XML format for standardized and harmonized information exchange.
The ESCom project has been presented and discussed at several occasions in the context of the Exchange Network on Exposure Scenarios (ENES) and the Cefic REACH Information and Experience Exchange Forum (RIEF). Relevant presentations are available on the Cefic and ENES website
The ESCom Package, including supporting documentation, is available for download from this webpage:
1. The ESCom standard phrase catalogue
1.1 The Network
The catalogue is developed and maintained by the ESCom standard phrases Working Group. This working group is working closely together with the European phrase catalogue group (EuPhraC provided by a BusinessEurope working group) to develop and maintain a shared library of unique Exposure Scenario phrases. EuPhraC focuses on standard phrases for the main body of the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) and ESCom focuses on standard phrases for the exposure scenario, annexed to the SDS. Working together will assure consistency between the phrases.
EuPhraC and ESCom are two initiatives to support actors in the chemical supply chain with standard phrases for safety data sheets and exposure scenarios. Unlike proprietary phrase catalogues of software vendors, both projects aim to share a workflow and technical bases for the publication of phrases which are publicly available for free.
Updated versions of the EuPhraC and ESCom phrase catalogues will be published twice a year (2nd and 4th quarter). The version number of the catalogues for the corresponding releases of ESCom and EuPhraC is identical.
1.2 Continuous enhancement at users' fingertips
ESCom is based on expert workgroups but encourages users to enhance the phrase catalogue with proposals for additional standard phrases for ES (to be dropped at http://draft.euphrac.eu). Any proposal, both from workgroup members and from users, undergoes the same approval procedure to ensure phrase catalogue quality.
The main philosophy behind the phrase proposal process is the „4-eye-principle“, in which, after formal and linguistic checks, the proposed phrase is reviewed by two experts before being discussed in the plenary Phrase review workgroup for final decision and inclusion in the phrase catalogue on euphrac.eu
To support companies and organisations in how to build standard phrases and submit proposals for phrases, a guidance on creation, submission and use of EuPhraC and ESCom phrases has been developed. This guidance is available for download on both Cefic and EuPhraC website.
Download the Phrase Guidance on creation, submission, usage of EuPhraC and ESCom phrases
1.3 Submission of phrases
The submission of phrases is supported by two IT tools:
- The “Proposal Tool” available on EuPhrac site which allows browsing the phrases along the EuPhraC structure tree and sending proposals for additions, modifications and deletions.
- The “Discussion Tool” which receives all proposals from the "Proposal Tool" and documents the decision process with status entries as well as optional free text entries with justifications, visible to the workgroup and the interested public.
2. The ESCom XML standard
The ESCom XML standard consists of the IT communication standard developed by IT providers in consultation with industry to harmonize ES data exchange between computer systems in the supply chain.
In fact, to achieve standardization and aiming at automation benefits, harmonization in the format and in the wording of phrases have to be linked to analogous developments of the container used to transport them. This coordination is essential to allow IT systems to exchange and process data along the supply chain.
2.1 ESCom XML delivery package
The ESCom XML delivery package contains both technical and functional related documents relevant for the implementation of the exposure scenario communication within an IT system. The package contains:
- The ESCom XML definition in XML schema files.
- The technical HTML-based documentation for the ESCom XML Schema.
- A technical guidance document.
- High-resolution diagrams used within the technical guidance document.
- A functional guidance document.
- A sample XML document for exposure scenario communication via XML. This XML document is based on the current ESCom XML definition.
2.2 ESCom XML User Licence
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding set forth between the participants in the ESCom project, any user wishing to download the ESCom XML standard will be asked to execute a free of charge User-Licence prior to getting access to the XML Format materials. (NB, the Phrase Catalogue per se is free of any such licence).
If you wish to download the ESCom XML delivery package, please print the User-Licence, have it signed by an authorised representative of your company/organisation and send it back either
- by post to Cefic aisbl, for the attention of Ms. C. Napoli, avenue E. Van Nieuwenhuyse 4, B-1160 Brussels, Belgium
- or by mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
You will then receive the link to the ESCom XML delivery package relevant for the implementation of the exposure scenario communication within an IT system. Please provide us (to email@example.com) with the e-mail address where you wish to receive said documents.