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Handling water-hazardous substances

Requirements for installations handling water-hazardous substances (AwSV) now regulated uniformly throughout Germany:


As already announced in our last issue, the new Federal regulation on installations handling water-hazardous substances (AwSV) was published on 21st. April 2017 and will enter into force on 1st. August 2017.

So far, the handling of water-hazardous substances has been regulated in each federal state through the respective ordinance on installations for handling water-hazardous substances (VAwS). This is now to be regulated nationally through the revised AwSV – with the regulations of the individual federal states being gradually replaced. In addition, the AwSV will also include the requirements for classification of water-hazardous substances that were previously regulated in an administrative regulation (VwVwS).

Exactly what changes are to be expected for businesses depends on the state where they are located. In Baden-Württemberg, for instance, there have been no reporting requirements for VAwS-installations. By contrast, the AwSV will in future also require registration to be undertaken at the appropriate authority for construction or substantial modification of above-ground installations with liquid water-hazardous substances of hazard level B.

At least the following formal requirements should be observed as of the effective date August 1st for installations already in existence:

  • Timely reporting of essential changes to installations subject to approval by the appropriate authority
  • Preparation of system documentation (for all installations!)
  • Depending on the installation, displaying an operating instruction (with yearly training!) or a leaflet
  • Obligation to consult a specialised company for certain installations
  • Taking into account any new test obligations for installations
  • Elimination of any identified minor defects within 6 months; significant defects must be eliminated immediately

If the revised AwSV imposes modified requirements (materially/structurally) on companies, they only come into force after being decreed by the appropriate local authority. A legal check by Arqum can establish if the AwsV brings about changes in the requirements for your company.


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