Management Systems Policy - EU Regulations and Directive's for the Fastener In

Hexavalent Chromium:

End of Life Vehicle Directive (2000/53/EC.

Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment (2002/95/EC.

Chromium is a corrosion resistant metal which is used to harden steel, manufacture stainless steel, and form many useful alloys. It is mostly used in plating to produce a hard and resilient surface to prevent corrosion. Its chemical compounds are usually coloured and chromium may exist in two states, notably hexavalent (or Chromium V1)and trivalent (or Chromium 111). Hexavalant chromium compoundsare generally orange or yellow coloured, whereas the trialent compounds are generally green. In its hexavalent state chromium poses an environmental hazard and therefore the EU has taken steps to prohibit the use of hexavalent chromium compounds, by issuing the two directive's above.

The first prohibits the use of hexavalent chromium in vehicles supplied from the 1st July 2007 and the second prohibits the use of hexavalent chromium in electrical and electronic equipment from the 1st July 2006.

We expect hexavalent chromium to be replaced with a more environmentally friendly finish containing zinc and trivalent chromium. There may be a slight difference in colour of the passive plating of our fasteners but we assure you there will be no deterioration in performance due to the changeover.

To ensure full legislitive compliance all stock supplied from our fastener range from the 1st July 2005 will not contain hexavalent chromium.

We have taken this stance to ensure all our customers, irrespective of what end uses of our products are, do not have to worry about the issue. We shall endeavour to maintain our competitive advantage whilst ensuring continuity of supply.

Craig Duckett.

Managing Director.