REACH – Applications for authorisation AFA023-01 – Cr03

Closed 17 Nov 2022

Opened 22 Sep 2022


Public consultation on alternatives

Reference: AFA023-01

ApplicantBorough Ltd 
                  Quality Plated Products Ltd

Application type: Initial

Substance name: Chromium Trioxide

EC Number: 215-607-8

CAS Number: 1333-82-0

Proposed use: Industrial use of chromium trioxide for the etch pre-treatment step for functional chrome plating with decorative character for automotive, sanitary, heating and other applications.

Broad information on use applied for (conditions of use and function): 

For plastic substrates, functional chromium electroplating with decorative character requires a pre-treatment step known as ‘etching’ to ensure a sufficient adhesion of the subsequent layers. Etching of plastic substrate with a chromium trioxide-containing solution ‘roughens’ the surface of the plastic by removing material from the substrate at a microscopic level, creating a specific number of pores with a certain depth on the surface. This allows for the adhesion of the subsequent layers. After etching, any remaining hexavalent chromium is neutralised to stop the etching process. In this way, the use applied for prepares plastic substrates for subsequent electroplating steps to produce products for automotive, sanitary, heating and other applications.

Etching is regarded as a separate use of chromium trioxide to electroplating because of key differences in functionality, the identification and analysis of potential alternatives and challenges associated with its substitution.

Additional information on the use applied for and the production process is given in the Chemical Safety Report (CSR) and Analysis of Alternatives (AoA).

Operational Conditions (OCs) and Risk Management Measures (RMMs) are described in the CSR and OC/RMM summary table.

Information on key functionalities of chromium trioxide is given in the AoA.

This application covers the use of chromium trioxide for etching at two sites: (1) Borough Ltd, Leigh on Sea; and (2) Quality Plated Products Ltd, Birmingham.

List of descriptors:

  • Life cycle stage: IS (Use at industrial sites)
  • Sector of end use (SU): 12 (Manufacture of plastics products)
  • Environmental release category (ERC): 6B 
  • Process category (PROC): 1, 3, 4, 8b, 9, 15, 28 
  • Product category (PC): 14 (Metal surface treatment products) 
  • Article category related to subsequent service life (AC): N/A 
  • Technical Function: Plating agent

Annual tonnage used: 

  • 10-100 tonnes/annum

Review period requested: 12 years

How to submit comments

Provide some basic information on possible alternative(s) in the online survey below but more detailed information should be provided in document(s) prepared using the commenting templates in the related section below. A “public version” should always be completed and will be published after the consultation has closed. If you want to include confidential information in your submission, please additionally complete a “confidential version” and submit both versions as attachments.

The consultation lasts for 8 weeks (unless otherwise specified) and closes at 23:59 London time (BST).


  • Applications for authorisation


  • Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of CHemicals (REACH)