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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find questions and answers regarding IMDS content and usage in several categories. To see the content of each category and to read the answer to a question, please click on the category/question to expand the content.

You find OEM-specific IMDS documentation for suppliers in the Help category "OEM Specific Information" (no longer under FAQ).


Legislative Requirements (incl. REACH)

How does IMDS support the Biocidal Product Regulation?

Declaration of Biocides in IMDS


In August 2014 GADSL contains for the first time biocidal active substances according to EC 528/2012 "Biocidal Product Regulation" (Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2012 concerning the making available on the market and use of biocidal products).

As the regulations concerning biocides are extremely complex, it is recommended that you do NOT reject data sheets without following the guidance in this FAQ.

It is also recommended that you review the information and guidance on treated articles, available on the ECHA webpage: http://echa.europa.eu/regulations/biocidal-products-regulation/treated-articles

Regulatory background:

Following the former Biocidal Product Directive (DIRECTIVE 98/8/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 16 February 1998 concerning the placing of biocidal products on the market) active substances are assigned to 22 so called product-types. The producer had to notify the substance and the use.

In a first step it was agreed to focus on the following product-types as automotive parts relevant:

Product-type 7: Film preservatives
Typical IMDS Material Categories: 6.1, 9.7

Product-type 8: Wood preservatives
Typical IMDS Material Categories: 7.1, 9.7

Product-type 9: Fibre, leather, rubber and polymerised materials preservatives
Typical IMDS Material Categories: 5.x, 6.1, 9.7

More strictly than in the former regulation, the legislator now restricts the use of biocides. In a review program the known biocides are evaluated again and are either listed as included, under approval or are delisted.
To fulfill regulatory duties within the EU as producer or importer, only active substances that are approved for the relevant product-type, or are in the approval process for the relevant product-type, may be used.  The use of delisted substances is not allowed at all. In each case the assigned product-type has to be taken into account.

Listing in GADSL:

The selected active substances are listed under "Biocidal coatings / biocidal additives, selected". In the column "Source" the assigned allowed (D) or restricted (P) product-types are shown. Several substances are not legally classified as allowed or prohibited for all product-types. As a use as biocide is only allowed when authorized for the respective use, they have the GADSL entry "Authorisation as biocide needed for product-type". E.g.:




Reason Code

(Legal requirements, regulations)

Biocidal coatings / biocidal additives, selected




Reg. (EU) No 528/2012 This list is derived from the following product-types believed to be relevant to the GADSL criteria:  product-type 7: Film preservatives; product-type 8: Wood preservatives and product-type 9: Fibre, leather, rubber and polymerised materials preservatives. 
These requirements apply only to intended use as a biocide.





P: Forbidden use as biocide in product-type : 7
D: Allowed use as biocide in product-type : 8
P: Forbidden use as biocide in product-type : 9

L-(+)-lactic acid




Authorisation as biocide needed for product-type 7
P: Forbidden use as biocide in product-type : 8
Authorisation as biocide needed for product-type 9


Use in IMDS:

Biocides with the GADSL classification D will be identified in blue. Biocide substances with the GADSL classification P or D/P will be identified in red, as they are not permitted in certain "Product-Types".

Just because a biocidal substance is reported in your material, does not mean that it is subject to the Biocidal Product Regulations – if this substance is added for non-biocidal reasons (e.g. if it is a vulcanizing agent,  heat stabilizer, catalyst etc) then the provisions of the BPR do NOT apply and the data sheet should NOT BE REJECTED.

Please follow the recommended steps in the IMDS process:

1.   Gather data on these active substances in IMDS.

2.   For substances identified as red, you will need to review the IMDS data against the Biocidal additives listing in GADSL (see www.GADSL.org).

3.   The following guidelines will help to determine if a use is acceptable.

3a. If the IMDS Material Category is not 6.1 or 9.7, then this material is UNLIKELY to be product-type 7.  Closer inspection of the datasheet should reveal if this is a film, or a larger polymer substrate. If only product-type 7 is prohibited, and your material is clearly NOT a film, you can be confident that your material is OK.

3b. If the IMDS Material Category is not 7.1 or 9.7, then this material is NOT product-type 8, therefore if only product-type 8 is prohibited, you can be confident that your material is OK.

3c. If the IMDS Material Category is 5.x, 6.1, 9.7, then there is a good chance that this material IS product-type 9, therefore if product-type 9 is prohibited, there is a strong possibility that your material is NOT OK.

In the near future, IMDS will be modified to provide additional functionality to determine if the biocidal substance has in fact been added for its biocidal properties and to identify which product-type it is used in.  It will be the responsibility of the Material MDS creator to provide this information.

Below are some examples to help you interpret these requirements.


1.   Zinc oxide (CAS 1314-13-2) is now listed as P for product-type 8 (wood preservative).

If it is reported in IMDS as an elastomer (with material category 5.2) then it has NOT been added as a wood preservative and its use in IMDS is ACCEPTABLE.

2.   I add a biocide to my ECOAT bath to prevent algal growth.  Do I need to declare this in IMDS?

No – The biocide added to the ecoat is not designed to impart any biocidal property on to the painted article itself, therefore it does not need to be declared in IMDS.  However, the biocide does need to be approved for Product-Type 7 (or in the process of being approved) and you need to be working within the approval conditions in your manufacturing facility.

What are the latest recommendations of the automotive industry in regard to REACH?

Since the publication of the Automotive Industry Guideline (AIG) on REACH Version 2.1 in May 2008 the REACH process has passed some important milestones such as pre-registration, the first publication of the Candidate List (CL) with SVHC, Annex XIV “Authorisation List” and most importantly the first registration deadline at the end of 2010. Having accumulated a wealth of experience through the cooperation in the Automotive Industry Task Force on REACH and in the light of upcoming processes which include authorisation of use, notification of CL substances in articles and communication due to the steadily increasing CL, it was felt that an update of the AIG would be helpful for vehicle manufacturers and the automotive industry supply chain. For more information and to download version 3.1 of the AIG free of charge go to www.acea.be/reach.

Is it mandatory to register a REACH contact for every company?

The registration of a REACH contact is not mandatory for the IMDS system. It was implemented to facilitate the communication between companies. Even if no REACH contact is registered for your own company, the users can send and receive MDSs. However, please ask your customer or supplier whether it is necessary to register at least one REACH contact.

Is there a common interpretation of the exemptions listed in the ELV Directive?

Here you can download a recommendation of the VDA and the ACEA on a common interpretation of the exemptions listed in the ELV Directive, Annex II:

Recommendation of the VDA and ACEA

Where can I find Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament on end-of-life vehicles component and material coding standards?

Updated list of SVHC (18th June 2012) / effects on ZVEI semi-components of IMDS Recommendation 019

On 18th July 2012, ECHA added another 13 substances to the candidates list.

As defined in IMDS Recommendation 019, the published semi-components will be reviewed based on such sort of change.

A first survey has been performed with following results for SVHC likely to be found in electronics:

  • Beta-TGIC (CAS: 59653-74-6), small amount of hits
  • EGDME (CAS: 110-71-4), small amount of hits
  • Diboron trioxide (CAS: 1303-86-2), high amount of hits
  • TGIC (CAS: 2451-62-9), small amount of hits

These results are under assessment currently.

Regarding Diboron trioxide (CAS: 1303-86-2) following facts are already available:

  1. This substance might be used to condition electrolytes of capacitors and properties of various electronic components made of ceramics.
  2. Diboron trioxide is a raw material and reacts during these conditioning processes, means, it is no longer available in the product itself.
  3. However, there is no solution yet available to declare the Boron component really existing in the product. Investigation is ongoing.

In parallel, a position paper is under preparation by related associations.

Results of the assessment will be reflected in a revision of Recommendation 019.

Material data sheets containing semi-components published by ZVEI, that contain Diboron trioxide, should not be rejected in the meantime.

Is there any information on the new European Regulation on Chemicals (REACH)?

As of June 2007, the Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) entered into force.

REACH affects all industries, including the automotive industry (hereinafter AI). As the AI is made up of vehicle manufacturers and many tiers of the supply chain, it has several roles and obligations under REACH. Action is required from the OEMs and suppliers, some immediately and some over the coming 11 years and beyond.

Please consider that:

  • REACH obligations are no different for suppliers and vehicle manufacturers.
  • Companies that do not comply with REACH will have no market. REACH poses a threat to any company doing business in the EEA (and businesses with customers who do business in the EEA).
  • Business continuity can be adversely impacted by REACH and supply chains can be disrupted.
  • Companies that understand the business implications and impacts of REACH and develop strategic action plans will gain a competitive edge over those that do not.

The key obligations under REACH for companies in the automotive industry can be summarised as follows:

Manufacturers and importers of substances have a duty to register, for each legal entity, substances on their own, or in mixtures that they produce or import in quantities over 1 ton per year (per manufacturer/importer), unless the substance is exempted from registration. Registration requirements also apply to substances intentionally released from articles under certain conditions, in which case the article producer/importer is responsible for the registration.

For this registration the manufacturers and importers need to know the intended uses of the substances. If this use is not registered it is not permitted to use the substance after the registration deadline. 31 May 2013 is the next deadline for industry to register all phase-in substances manufactured in, or imported in to the EEA at, or above 100 tons per year.

The majority of tiers in the automotive supply chain are classed as Downstream Users (DU) and are not required to register, BUT they should notify their uses to their suppliers for substances that are required to be registered, no later than 31 May, 2012.

For more information please refer to Chapter 5.5 – “Downstream User Obligations according to REACH Title V” in the Automotive Industry Guideline on REACH (AIG) and the related ECHA web page.

You are also reminded that 31 May 2018 is the deadline for industry to register all phase-in substances manufactured or imported in the EEA at and above 1 ton per year under REACH. Please ensure that you and your supply chain are aware of their duties and take the necessary measures.

Any supplier of an article has to communicate information on substances in articles, both to the recipient of the article (Art. 33.1) and to the consumer (Art. 33.2),

  • if the substance is present in the article at a concentration above 0.1% w/wand
  • included on the “Candidate List” for authorisation (hereinafter CL).

Communication under Art. 33.1 is immediately triggered when a substance of very high concern is included on the CL while Article 33.2 provides forty five days in which to respond to a consumer’s request for information. The CL will be updated with new SVHCs at least twice a year.

The appropriate tool to use to comply with this obligation is the IMDS as all the relevant information is available in the database.

Producer/importer of articles must notify ECHA if any SVHC included in the CL is present above a concentration of 0.1% w/w in the article and if the substance totals more than 1 tonne per year in all the articles produced/imported per company. If the substance has already been registered for that use or the producer / importer of an article can exclude exposure of humans and the environment to the substance during normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use including the disposal of the article (where in such cases appropriate instructions need to be supplied to the recipient of the article) no notification is required.

  • The first deadline was 1st of June 2011
  • For substances included on the CL after the 1st of December 2010, notifications have to be submitted no later than 6 months after inclusion.

The goal is to ensure the good functioning of the internal market while assuring that the risks from substances of very high concern (SVHCs i.e. CMRs 1 and 2, PBTs, vPvBs and substances of equivalent concern) included in REACH Annex XIV (the “Authorisation List”) are properly controlled and that these substances are progressively replaced by suitable alternative substances or technologies where these are economically and technically viable.

Note: Under authorisation every use of a substance is prohibited if not explicitly allowed.

Restrictions are established in REACH Annex XVII for manufacture, placing on the market or use of certain hazardous substances or group of substances when unacceptable risks to human health or the environment are identified. Any substance on its own, in a preparation or in an article may be subject to such restriction if it is demonstrated that risks need to be addressed on a Community-wide basis.

Note: Under restriction every use of a substance is allowed if not explicitly restricted.

How does REACH impact the GADSL and what is the influence on the IMDS?

The continuous evaluation of the REACH Candidate List (at least 2 updates per year) is automatically triggering the process to update the Global Automotive Declarable Substance List (GADSL). Thus, to support REACH compliance the list also contains vehicle related substances newly placed on the REACH Candidate List for authorisation.

All new changes in GADSL are highlighted under www.gadsl.org.

REACH Article 33 is requiring manufacturers of articles to automatically inform their customers on substances listed on the candidate list if this substance is contained in the article in an amount > 0.1% w/w. Ignoring this legal obligation may cause penalties by the national authorities.

To fulfil these legal obligations, suppliers can use the IMDS system but have to follow the IMDS-Recommendations, especially of IMDS Rec. 001:
– It is prohibited to hide GADSL-substances in wildcards
– After a GADSL-update, ALL active MDS have to be checked for ALL new GADSL-substances, potentially hidden in a wildcard.
– If new GADSL substances are hidden in wildcards, the supplier has to re-work and re-submit the affected MDS to his customer immediately.
For Renault suppliers: In case of an update of the Renault list you have to follow the same rules.

To avoid such checks and re-submission in the future, the IMDS Steering Committee recommends to avoid the usage of any wildcard and instead, without losing your company knowledge, to use the “confidential substance”-functionality.

To see the link between REACH, IMDS and GADSL and the process how the responsible groups are working together please see Annex N of the Automotive Industry Guideline on REACH under www.acea.be/publications/article/reach-automotive-industry-guideline.

What are REACH-related changes of the IMDS?

Having the IMDS, the automotive Industry is considered to be in an advantageous position compared to other sectors and able to comply with several REACH obligations immediately e.g. Art. 33.1 communication without developing new tools or processes.

The Automotive Industry Guideline on REACH includes the recommendation that the IMDS should be used to collect information about substances of very high concern in articles. Minor modifications to the system have been implemented to optimise this process:

  • IMDS provides an additional REACH contact field, on company and not material data sheet level, to support better REACH communication throughout the supply chain. Please note that use of this function will not replace your obligation to provide the contact information by the direct customer-specific communication requirements.
  • Candidate List substance flagging & filter.
  • Authorisation List (REACH Annex XIV) substance flagging & filter.
  • Analysis of products for automotive industry relevant substances from REACH Annex XVII.
  • Analysis of material data sheets for SVHCs.

It is important to remember that in order to ensure compliance to the REACH Regulation, material data sheets may need to be re-submitted for each active part number to include any candidate list substance that has been added to the GADSL. This specifically applies to substances that up till now were hidden by a wild card or considered confidential.

How do I find REACH Contacts?

Please find the answer in this document.

User Accounts (IDs)

Why am I getting notices that my User ID is expired or about to expire?

Users with in-active accounts or accounts past the “Valid Until” date receive the following error when attempting to login: Login not allowed. Your IMDS account has expired. Please contact your IMDS Administrator (Company Administrator). When these users attempt to change their password, they receive the following error message: The New Password function is not applicable for this ID. Please contact your IMDS Administrator.

How / Why do IMDS Accounts Expire?
An IMDS user who created, sent, or received an MDS or other item cannot be deleted, so IMDS provides two methods in “Admin…”, “User…” to expire or deactivate a user, i.e. make the user unable to log on or change IMDS information. An IMDS User Account typically expires or becomes inactive in one of three ways:

  1. A company administrator clears the “Active” checkbox on an employee who left the company, or whose job has changed and is no longer involved in managing MDSs. This immediately de-activates the user.
  2. A company administrator sets the “Valid Until” date to a future date on which a user is leaving the company, typically through retirement, leave, etc., and then that date comes to pass. This disables login after that date.
  3. A company administrator fails to maintain the account “Valid Until” date. In February 2012 IMDS Release 7.2 added two features: the first set the value for the “Valid Until” date to one year after the release was installed or an account is created, whichever is later. The second runs periodically and clears the Active checkbox if the user has not logged in within the last 12 months. More information regarding Release 7.2 is available in the IMDS Information Pages -> System -> Release Notes -> Changes Release 7.2 (20-Jan-2012). A direct link is provided here: Release Information 7.2 (February 2012)

Users who have not logged into IMDS in the last eleven months receive an email before the account is deactivated, warning them to login. Many fail to do so. Company Administrators also receive an email warning about a month before the “Valid Until” date, but again, many fail to act. These emails are sent from IMDS-Info@hp.com, which also sends user-configured “Notifications”, so Company Administrators & users who receive notifications may assume these emails are notifications, and overlook them.

Who Manages IMDS Accounts?
As stated in the IMDS Terms of Use, which every user must acknowledge reading, understanding, and accepting on first login, IMDS is a self-service application, and managing user accounts is the responsibility of the Company Administrator (CA). Detailed instructions for Company Administrators (CAs) on how to manage “Valid Until” dates are available in the next question “How to Update a “Valid Until” Date”. A failure of the Company Administrator (CA) to understand or perform their IMDS responsibilities may require them to contact the IMDS Service Desk for support. This is not the intended role of the IMDS Service Desk. The primary responsibility of the Service Desk is ensuring system outages are resolved and answering questions regarding IMDS usage. The Service Desk is only intended to handle user account issues when the last Company Administrator (CA) leaves the company unexpectedly or under duress. IMDS is located in Germany, and is subject to strict European Union (EU) privacy and data confidentiality laws which limit the Service Desk to assisting only registered Company Administrators (CAs) with user account issues. Typical Service Desk turn-around time for these issues is one to three business days.

How Do I Avoid Having my Account Disabled?
As a User, make sure to log into IMDS every few months, check the accuracy of your user information (using the “Profile” selection from the left menu), and check with your IMDS Company Administrators (CAs) quarterly to ensure your “Valid Until” date is not set to expire soon.

As an IMDS Company Administrator (CA), we suggest you use your personal or company’s chosen “reminder” tool (Microsoft Outlook Calendar, Lotus Notes, etc.) to schedule re-occurring (monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or at a minimum, annually) reminders to Log into IMDS “Administration… Users” and review all user accounts to ensure correct information. Pay special attention to the names, Email Address, “Active” status, and “Valid Until” date.

Update any that have changed since the last update, or any “Valid Until” dates that should be changed and will expire before your next review. Also, IMDS recommends all companies have at least two IMDS Company Administrators (CAs). This provides backup in the event one leaves, is unavailable, or is unable to logon.

Detailed instructions for Company Administrators (CAs) on how to manage “Valid Until” dates are available in the next question “How to Update a “Valid Until” Date”.

For more information on maintaining User IDs, please see CA Administrative Functions.

How to Update a “Valid Until” Date

This function is not available to IMDS users with a “User” profile. This is available to IMDS Company Administrators (CA) only. This process applies for “Valid Until” dates for types of users, including Company Administrators updating their own information:

  1. Log into IMDS.
  2. Select “Administration” from the menu.
  3. Select User in the Administration Submenu.
  4. Optionally enter part or the entire user ID in the User ID field to reduce the resulting list size.
  5. Select Search using the command button on the bottom to the left.
  6. Find the user ID in the resulting list.
  7. Select the ID in the list. This will highlight the ID. Doubleklick opens the Details tab.
  8. Click the “Modify” button near the bottom left.
  9. The user data is displayed. Verify the information, especially the email address, Last Name, First Name, and active flag. Update or correct this information if needed.
  10. Locate the field “Valid until:” on the right near the middle of the page. This is the date after which the user will no longer be able to log in to IMDS. To extend the validity of the user ID, enter a future date. Under normal circumstances we recommend setting the date one year in the future, and reviewing User IDs at least annually. Far–future dates are valid, but may pose a security risk.
  11. Click the “Save” button near the bottom right. This will save the changes and return you to the User selection screen displayed in Step 3 above.

You may now perform updates for any other users, if necessary, or select “Menu” from the menu to return to the initial IMDS display, or select “Log off” from the menu to conclude your IMDS session.

Why am I only seeing the "Log off" button, when I log on to IMDS?

When you only see the "Log off" button another window is open in the background - or was prevented from being opened by a popup blocker.

If you are using a browser with tabs, check to see if there is another tab open that requires a response.

If the above does not resolve your issue, check to see if you machine uses a popup blocker (either in the operating system or an add-on). It is highly recommended that when working with IMDS you do not use a popup blocker. Certain areas of IMDS are not available if a popup blocker is used and the IMDS Service Center may not be able to diagnose the problem. If using Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), a popup blocker is automatically installed and this must be disabled before using IMDS.

Additionally, toolbars like Google / Yahoo etc. also have an active popup blocker which can cause the same problem of not being able to work with IMDS.

My ID is locked, how do I reset my password?

Firstly, IMDS ONLY communicates login information to the e-mail that is on the User ID in the system. To check if it is your user ID, use the Forgot ID button on the login screen (top button on right) and enter your e-mail address. If you get an e-mail back from imds-info@hp.com with an ID, you know that everything should be OK for you to use the new password button.

System Response: "No valid user ID has been found for the entered e-mail address" You are not the owner of the ID. The IMDS Service Center will only communicate login information to the e-mail address on the ID. You will have to find the owner and have them reset the password. This is why we strongly suggest each user have their own ID and it is important to update e-mail information on the ID through the Settings link found after login.

No error message and no e-mail? Your e-mail system is blocking e-mails from imds-info@hp.com. You will have to work with your IT department to resolve the issue as you will never receive a password until the problem is fixed.

Everything checks out? Use the ID that is on the e-mail and click on the New Password button (2nd button on right)

System Response: "Your password has been blocked and can only be reset by your Company Administrator. If you do not have another Company Administrator then contact the IMDS Service Center". This means exactly what it says. The IMDS Service Center will only reset the password if the ID in question has a Company Administrator profile AND it is the only Company Administrator in the company. Password resets require an e-mail to the IMDS Service Center of your choice (and please contact only one) from the e-mail on the ID. Communicating with more than one Service Center will not get it reset faster. To avoid confusion and duplication of effort, the IMDS Service Center will not take any action unless they are listed first in the "to:" field. The IMDS Service Center must verify that the e-mail on the ID is accurate prior to resetting. All passwords are emailed from imds-info@hp.com and contain the word "password" in the text so if you do not receive an e-mail, you must work with your IT people to resolve the issue.

No error message and no e-mail? - Your e-mail system is blocking e-mails from imds-info@hp.com. You will have to work with your IT department to resolve the issue as you will never receive a password until the problem is fixed. The IMDS Service Center cannot assist in fixing this problem - there is rarely (<0.1%) any error message from the recipient computer and from our perspective, it has been delivered.

How do I update information on User ID?

Please find the answer in this document.

How do I find out who my Company Administrator is?

Please find the answer in this document.

System Usage

What you should know about IMDS

Here you can download a document which attempts to give a little insight into how IMDS works in an effort to improve your IMDS experience: What you should know about IMDS

Are there any hints to how to find things in IMDS?

How to Find a Basic Substance – PDF-File, 392.7 KB

How to Find an MDS – PDF-File, 491.0 KB

How to Find IMDS Committee Material – PDF-File, 173.2 KB

How to Find Received Data – PDF-File, 406.2 KB

How to Find Sent Items – PDF-File, 271.5 KB

How to Find Requests – PDF-File, 155.1 KB

How to Find Information on Other Companies – PDF-File, 530.4 KB

How can I find where I've used a particular substance or how can I analyze MDSs or how can the Analysis function be best used?

Please find the answer in this document.

How can the MDS/Module tree/structure be printed?

While one can always take a screen capture of the tree structure, the information is rather limited. Many companies are requiring proof of acceptance of IMDS data. Both functions can be achieved by using the Create MDS Report in IMDS.

  1. From any search results screen that contains the MDS (Search, Sent, Received), highlight the desired MDS.
  2. Right click to see the context menu options or use one of the Menu buttons to open the context menu and chose Create MDS Report.
  3. If given an option, select the Point of View.
  4. Click on OK
  5. Click Open or Save for the File Download.
  6. Print or save file to hard drive.

Is there any explanation on deleting Material Data Sheets?

Since IMDS is a database with linkages between different IMDS companies, delete really doesn't delete an MDS or basic substance from the system - deleting just makes it unavailable for attaching to future MDSs. Anywhere an existing linkage exists still remains.

The deleted MDS/substance will still appear on any component, semi-component, or material it's attached to. If that component, semi-component, or material has been made productive prior to deletion, it can be attached to any future component, semi-component, or material from now until IMDS expires.

However, if someone wants to make a copy or new version of a component, semi-component, or material that has a deleted MDS/substance attached at the first level (child attached directly to the top of the tree), they will get an error message and they will have to remove the deleted MDS/substance from the tree and add something else.

As far as the send/receive lists, in order to maintain consistency with off-line sysetms, you cannot delete an MDS that has been sent and approved or an MDS in status "prec". If you delete a rejected or not yet accepted MDS, delete will not remove an MDS from either of these lists. All deleting will do is to change the status to cbs (cancelled by sender). The user can use the filter and not display those with status cbs, but they will not disappear from the lists.  You cannot delete an MDS your company did not create.

When you click on delete, the system asks more than once if you are really sure you want to delete. This is done because, although nothing ever really disappears, the IMDS Service Center cannot undelete.

How can I use the IMDS advanced editing functions?

Please find the answer in this document.

When should I use Copy/New Version vs Copy/Copy?

Please find the answer in this document.

What can be done in case of bad performance?

Firstly, IMDS is never going to work as quickly as an application installed on your PC. You are being connected to a server many thousands of miles away and, chances are, the signal is having to traverse at least one ocean and continent. With every click, you are sending data over the same internet that everyone else uses, going into the database, gathering information that you want along with how it is to be displayed on your computer, data travels back to you and is decoded as to how it is to be displayed, and is displayed on your screen. Internet traffic as well as the bandwidth into your own building have an impact on performance.

IMDS contains a tool called Network Test that can be reached from the IMDS Help window within the application. The IMDS Help window can be accessed by clicking on the ? in the tool bar. The Network Test measures different areas of the IMDS architecture that gives hints to determine the performance bottleneck. In case of ongoing bad performance you may contact the IMDS Service Center asking for further investigations coming from your internet connection over the public internet. We have found for companies in the Asia Pacific region, a chage of Internet Service Providers (ISP) will sometimes greatly improve performance.

For further questions please get in contact with one of the IMDS Service Centers.

How can I get IMDS to notify me that I need to login and take action?

Please find the answer in this document.

Where can I find out more about the new Conflict Minerals Group?

Why is there now a Conflict Minerals group?
On July 15, 2010 the US Congress passed the Wall Street reform bill that included a provision on conflict minerals. The language in the bill requires companies that use tin, tungsten, tantalum, or gold in their products or production of their product and report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission to file an annual disclosure report with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing whether these materials originated in the Congo or its adjoining countries. The bill requires companies to audit these reports to assure whether they are sourcing from conflict mines or not.

Several OEMs are cascading an information letter through the supply chain making suppliers aware of this new requirement. In the letter they ask suppliers to:

  • Determine what components use conflict minerals or their derivatives.
  • Work with suppliers to map supply chains of those components.
  • Require suppliers to identify smelters used or verify that the origin of conflict minerals is scrap or recycled material.

In order to facilitate the first step, we have introduced the Conflict Minerals group that can be used for analysis.

What are Conflict Minerals?
The definition of conflict mineral in the legislation is (http://www.dodd-frank-act.us/Dodd_Frank_Act_Text_Section_1502.html):

CONFLICT MINERAL – The term ‘‘conflict mineral’’ means:

(A) columbite-tantalite (coltan), cassiterite, gold, wolframite, or their derivatives; or
(B) any other mineral or its derivatives determined by the Secretary of State to be financing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country.

In other words, it is not just where the mineral comes from that makes it a conflict mineral.

Are the substances in the Conflict Minerals group a complete list of substances I need to be concerned about?
No. The substances in this IMDS group are substances that are found in the IMDS Basic Substance list. These substances are commonly found in hard parts. There are many other compounds that are used in manufacturing (necessary to the production of the part) that are not found in final parts.

How can I use the Conflict Minerals group?
To examine the structure of an individual MDS, you may use the pull down and conflict minerals will be highlighted in the tree similar to GADSL substances or Process Chemicals. You may also use this group in Analysis > Certificate of Expenditure > Basic Substance List to determine which parts contain Conflict Minerals so you can determine which suppliers you may need further information from.

For the legislation, do I only need to look at my parts and materials in IMDS?
No. The legislation (New Section 13(p)) requires reporting annually whether Conflict Minerals that are necessary to the functionality or production of a product originated in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) or an adjoining country (such countries are referred to in this memorandum as the DRC Countries).

While the final guidelines from the SEC are not published at this time, we are expecting that this means all tooling, catalysts, etc., are also included in the reporting requirement. Only parts on a vehicle as sold are reported in IMDS.

After I find my parts and suppliers, what do I have to do next?
That is really up to you and your customer requirements. Some of your customers may require a formal report asking for information on the source of the Conflict Minerals. Communications with your suppliers on this topic will need to be done outside of IMDS. IMDS is only a starting point on this journey.

If your company reports to the US SEC, you may be asked to contribute to such a report.

What do I do if I use IMDS Committee materials with these substances in them?
As it says in Recommendation 001, that even if you use IMDS Committee materials, you are required to collect information to ensure that the IMDS Committee material is representative of the material being used. You will need to use that information to contact your suppliers for information if it is required.

Where can I find more information?

  1. US Securities and Exchange Commission site: http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/dodd-frank.shtml
  2. The actual bill: http://www.sec.gov/about/laws/wallstreetreform-cpa.pdf (it’s 848 pages)
  3. The relevant section: http://www.dodd-frank-act.us/Dodd_Frank_Act_Text_Section_1502.html
  4. The Automotive Industry Action Group has a working group on Conflict Minerals (www.aiag.org).
  5. You may use a search engine such as Google to search on the term: Conflict Minerals.

Is there a proposal, how to evaluate the established IMDS process regarding the efficiency and the effectiveness and to identify potentials for optimization within these processes?

Here you can download a document describing how to evaluate the established IMDS process regarding the efficiency and the effectiveness and to identify potentials for optimization within these processes.

What are Organization Units and How Can I use them?

Please find the answer in this document.

Is there any other way to enter data apart from the browser?

The Car Manufacturers pay for the development and hosting of the browser interface to IMDS and it is free to users.

Several vendors have offline systems that interface with your in-house systems and develop code in XML that can be uploaded into IMDS. While the various vendors have their own pricing model for their systems, the ability to upload into IMDS requires an Advanced Interface license. Please see IMDS-AI for further information and pricing.

Additionally, HP has also developed a Java program that resides on your PC. This has a Windows-Like feel with drag-and-drop and multi-windows capability along with other functionality. Please see IMDS-a2 for further information and pricing.

What is the process for a company reorganization in IMDS and how much does it cost?

All information regarding the reorganization of your IMDS company data can be found on our service pages under menu item IMDS Reorganization.

Is there any guidance on handling IMDS data with Company Mergers or Sell Offs?

Please find the answer in this document.

IMDS Entry

What do I have to report in IMDS?

All materials in IMDS must be reported in their delivery state to the respective customer. Processing Chemicals, catalysts, and other substances consumed or cured out during processing are not to be reported. Aftermarket parts, due to the recycling and recoverability requirements, are frequently included. Some OEMs require User Manuals to be reported.

Although the IMDS system does flag substances that are on the REACH list, the function of this system is not to collect packaging and other products that are disposed of during the assembly process before it reaches the end consumer. Tracking of these products, if required for REACH reporting, must be done outside of IMDS.

What is the difference between a Material, Semi-component, and Component?

All IMDS entries begin with materials. Materials in IMDS must be homogeneous in order to meet several legal requirements. Homogeneous means that if you look at the material under a microscope, you cannot see any layers.

Materials can either be entered by a user, an IMDS entry sent/proposed from a user's supplier (and accepted by someone in the user's company), or selected from the published materials list (we strongly suggest selecting only those published by the user's supplier and/or the manufacturer of the material or IMDS Committee).

If you are creating an MDS to represent something with layers (such as a plated metal, coated wire, textile or leather) or a product sold on a roll or bolt on in a container, you should be using a semi-component for your submission. Semi-components do not have a defined weight until used although you do enter a usage metric when you create the semi-component.

If you are creating an MDS to represent something used in whole numbers (e.g. a part in an assembly) that has a defined weight, then it should be represented by a component.
(A component’s weight is given at the time of MDS creation and it remains constant throughout the manufacturing process.)

How do I handle Austempering and Nitriding of parts in an MDS?

In most heat treatments, you do not change the chemistry of the product – see below for specifics. However, due to the necessity of having the information in the system, lack of change does not exempt the supplier that heat treats from entering data. In an austempering process you don’t change the chemical composition. It is an isothermal heating process so there is no change to the original MDS. The nitriding and case hardening processes are a thermal process where N (Nitrogen) and/or C (Carbon) is diffusing into the the steel. The result is a inhomogenuous concentration of N and/or C in a thin surface layer (about 100 µm thickness in a nitriding and 1 mm in the case hardening process). Due to the inhomogenuous destribution, the concentration of N or C depend on the depth and cannot be described in IMDS. Since Nitrogen and Carbon are not elements which are declarable or prohibited or can be a source for danger in the handling or recycling process, the SC decided in this special case that Nitriding or Case Hardening need not be reported in IMDS.

How to develop an MDS:
In the above cases of austempering, nitriding and case hardening, there is no specific material that needs to be created.

How to handle in IMDS:

  1. The company that does the treatment receives a component (or semi-component) in IMDS from the company that supplies the part in the physical supply chain with forwarding allowed.
  2. The company that does the treatment creates a copy/forward of the received component (or semi-component) and adds the recipient information (being very careful with the part number and supplier code as you cannot make another copy/forward) and sends to the customer.

If the supplier of the part and the customer is the same, it is then up to the customer to determine whether the company that performs the treatment needs to report.

I only heat treat a part, do I have to submit?

The short answer is yes although you may not have to do much more than forward what you receive with a change of part number. The reason – the flow of information through IMDS companies needs to mimic the flow of product through the supply chain. In the case where you get a part from your customer and send back to your customer, there is usually a part number change between an unprocessed part and a processed part in your customer’s system. The only way to account for this in IMDS is to have a submission for that part.

In the case where you get a part from a supplier and send to a customer, your customer has a relationship with your company and not your supplier. They may not even have your supplier in their database. As to how to construct an MDS, please see the FAQ on Austempering and Nitriding below.

Is there a need to report User Manuals within IMDS?

While the majority of the car manufacturers do not require the reporting of User Manuals within IMDS, e.g. handbooks for radios or infotainment systems, there may be one or two that do have the requirement. Check with your customer.

Is there any recommendation by the IMDS Steering Committee for documenting labels in IMDS?

It is impossible to cover every single part type in a vehicle with a specific Recommendation (found on the Recommendation link after login). However, the IMDS Steering Committee agreed upon a common means for documenting labels in IMDS and provided several label semi-components in IMDS.

More information on how you can find these label semi-components and reference them is found here: IMDS-Committee semi-component labels – PDF-File, 207.8 KB

Product Category Specific

What happened to the IMDS Committee Materials used for reporting Electric/Electronic Parts?

Due to the necessary changes for Recommendation 019, the existing IMDS Committee materials that start with PCB* and Hybrid* have been removed. Please see the FAQ on Electric/Electronic Reporting below for more information.

The materials are no longer available for incorporation into new data sheets but existing references are still valid.

What should I know about reporting Electric/Electronic Components and the new Recommendation 019?

Material Data for Assemblies - Cooperation between ZVEI and the Automotive Industry on the declaration of material data (2012)
Cooperation between ZVEI and the Automotive Industry on Material Data for Assemblies – PDF-File, 63.9 KB

Why don't we report Electric and Electronic Components as we would any other part?
You can report Electric and Electronic Components as you would any other part with a full Bill of Material (BOM). However, reporting of electric and electronic components does provide a unique set of issues:

  • Automotive electronics is <3% of electronics business
  • Majority of parts are <3g
  • Parts comprised of:
    – Many mixtures of materials
    – Materials hard to classify (ex. Epoxies, conductive adhesives..)
    – Very slight variations within component ‘classes’

For that reason, the Steering Committee in conjunction with the electronics suppliers developed Recommendation 019 in 2003 and provided a "modular" approach to electric/electronic component reporting. This Recommendation has been updated periodically since then and the latest revision (August 2010) was developed to meet the new application code requirements for Lead. Information provided here is to expand on the information in Recommendation 019 which can be found, along with the other recommendations, on the Recommendation link after login.

Why did there need to be such a large change in Recommendation 019?
The biggest driver for the change was introduction of new application codes for lead. This has been detailed in: IMDS Steering Committee Documentation about the application code changes

Due to the changes in application code, it was decided that if the reporting was changed to a module approach the reporting requirements could still be met. Reporting requirements could not be met with the existing approach.

Additionally, due to changes in technology, some of the existing materials were no longer relevant.

Why can I only use the materials as part of the semi-component and not separately?
These materials represent substances found in components and are not suitable for use by themselves.

What are the requirements for using these semi-component modules?
These modules were developed to make it easier for electric and electronic assembly suppliers to report. HOWEVER, EVERY SUPPLIER WILL STILL HAVE TO COLLECT THE DATA.

As it says in Recommendation 019:

"If these modules are intended to be used in an MDS, the supplier must have obtained evidence per REC001 Section 3.1 (General Reporting) from the sub-tier suppliers that all materials meet the predefined material descriptions and ranges of the standard materials. Upon special request by the customer, the supplier utilizing the IMDS reporting has to prove per evidence that he has collected all material data from its sub-tier levels (REC001 Rule 5.2.D). Any use of standard materials does not substitute the supplier's mandate to track and gather all necessary material information along the total sub-tier supply chain. This mandatory process of material tracking and obtaining must be proven to be in full compliance with legal requirements, which are defined e.g. in European 2005/EC (Type Approval Directive)."


"If the substance composition of a component is not covered by one of the standard modules, the respective component has to be reported individually. This e.g. has to be done if GADSL substances which are not disclosed in the standard module are contained above the appropriate thresholds. It also is the typical situation for mechanical parts such as screws, cooling sheets, wiring, etc. Mechanical parts must be reported separately according to REC001."

Do I have to resubmit my previous parts?
The answer is "it depends". If your part is going to be on a vehicle going for a new type approval, then yes, you will have to resubmit to the new application codes and the new structures. Your OEM will indicate that this needs to be done and the information should cascade through the supply chain and your customer should make a special request on a specific part number.

Otherwise you shouldn't have to - providing the part number remains the same.

I need to update an existing MDS. Can I use the old structure and application codes?
The answer is "it depends". If any of the following is true, you will need to submit using the new module structure and the new application codes:

  • This is a new part number to your customer meaning a new ID is required. (This is written from the OEM perspective and according to change management, new part number to customer means new IMDS ID).
  • You "update" using copy/copy (version 1 or .01 always is considered a new ID)
  • You "update" using copy/new version but your component has IMDS Committee materials attached to the top node and get an error because they are "hidden" and can no longer be used.

Example where you can still use the old application codes: You have a Carry over part (same part number), not being used in a new type approval, and you are changing something mechanical such as a connector so the now "hidden" materials are not attached to the top node and have used copy/new version.

I cannot use the modules and have to create my own materials. My materials are difficult to classify. Is there any guidance?
Recognizing that some of the electric/electronic materials are difficult to classify, there is a special rule for materials going into electronics parts weighing less than 5 grams:

  • May be reported using material classification 8.1
  • Standard material numbers, symbols, and norms/standards can be simplified per REC001 as shown in Section 4.4.2E, 4.4.2F and 4.4.2I

Do you have any more information on the Handling Matrix related to the New ELV Exemptions and Recommendation 019?
In the file IMDS Steering Committee documentation about the application changes, there is a handling matrix on page 5 relating to when the new ZVEI semi-components and application codes are to be used. Another view of this, in decision tree format, can be found here.

How can fastener surfaces be calculated?

The surface is necessary for the calculation of the weight of coatings. The attached Excel sheet will facilitate the calculation of fastener surfaces for IMDS.

Is there any information on the conversion to CrVI-free coatings for screws?

The German Assiociation "Deutscher Schraubenverband e.V." collected information for its members for the conversion to CrVI-free coatings for screws: Conversion to Cr(VI)-free coatings for screws.

MDS Ingredients Screen

Is there any further explanation as to how to select an Application ID?

Application codes are related to some legal requirements on certain substances or substance groups. The application codes relate to how the material is used in a component (part). Although it might appear that application codes are related to a material, in actuality it is only possible to select an application code when the material is first attached (referenced) by a component. There may other material nodes or semi-component nodes in the path between the material and the component. It is the usage on the component that determines the appropriate application code.

There is a large number of application codes that can be used, but only a few are valid for each circumstance. In order to assist the user, IMDS only presents application codes relevant to the situation. The "possible" application codes depend on: the material classification, the basic substance, and the % of basic substance in the material. If you do not find an expected application code, then either the material classification is incorrect or the % of the basic substance in the material is too high.

The attached file (downloadable Excel file - valid starting 2011/06/30) indicates which application codes are permissable in each situation. For ease of use, the tabs in the file relates to a specific substance category: Lead, Hexavalent Chromium, Mercury, Cadmium, Nickel and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. The first column of "Applications" worksheet shows all applications with their text applicable to the substance. The following columns show all material classifications. The resulting table shows the valid applications for a substance within a material of the specified classification. Only where an entry appears in the column is the combination of application and material classification valid. If there is an additional percentage value (e.g. x ≤ 4%), the application is valid only when the percentage of the substance in the material does not exceed the stated percentage value.

The IMDS system will "suggest" an application code in most circumstances. The suggestion will be the application code with a lowest percentage value for a given material classification. However, the user is RESPONSIBLE to determine if the pre-selected application is correct - the IMDS system is NOT RESPONSIBLE for determining the correct application code - it only offers a selection to make less work for the user. If there are several applications with percentages for a substance and material classification combination, the application with the lowest allowable percentage value is selected. If only one application is valid, it will be pre-selected. Since application codes are only assigned when a material is referenced by a component, it is the user's responsibility to verify that application codes assigned to IMDS Committee materials (particularly the 8.x materials) are correct.

Here you can find an IMDS Steering Committee document on the application changes for your support (Version: October 2013).

Why do the Jokers contain the phrase "not to declare"?

Jokers/wildcards can be used to replace “highly confidential substances” in the material formula. However, the user MUST NOT use a joker/wildcard as a substitute for a declarable or prohibited substance on the GADSL or Renault lists or for a substance that requires an application code. Use of the phrase “not to declare” reminds the user of this.

Due to the requirement that every time the GADSL is updated, the user is required to review all of his materials that contain a joker/wildcard, it is suggested that the use of jokers/wildcards be reduced/eliminated the next time the material is updated and instead use the actual substance and mark it “confidential”.

Is there a description concerning confidentiality handling and confidential substances?

Substances are to be reported in their final state. For example, if using a polymer such as ABS, you do not report the chemicals that go into making the ABS, there is an ABS pseudo-substance in the system. However, you do need to report pigments, flame retardants, and fillers. You can go to the Search > Basic Substance and select a substance group to see substances in that group. By reporting using pseudo-substances, where applicable, much of the concern about proprietary formulations is laid to rest. Similarly, in paints and adhesives, only the “cured” product is to be reported.

Now for the confidential substances: Technically, you can use a joker/wildcard as a substitute for highly confidential substances. However, you cannot use a joker/wildcard for any declarable, prohibited, or application relevant substance. Additionally, every time the GADSL changes, you have to go through your records and find the substance the joker is used for and certify that the substance is still not declarable, prohibited, or requires an application code. That’s a lot of work.

The OEMs would much rather you use the IMDS functionality of marking substances confidential. Certain substances – those not on the GADSL list, the Application Relevant Substance List, and the joker list – will have a checkbox next to confidential when added to the tree structure. Should you check the box, only users in your own IMDS company and specific users who have been granted “Trust user” status by a Company Administrator in your company can see the actual substance in the tree structure. All other users will see is “confidential substances”. This includes OEMs – users in your OEM or in their offline system will not be able to see what the substance is. All they will know is that since it is marked confidential, it cannot be on the GADSL, require an application code, or be a joker.

Should the status of the substance change on the GADSL list (example: it becomes declarable), the Company Administrator of the material creating company and users of the company who request notification on settings will receive an e-mail indicating that resubmission is required as the substance can no longer be marked confidential.

You can mark up to 10% of the substances in your tree structure “confidential” without generating an IMDS warning.

Is there additional information on rules and handling for Parts Marking?

Please find the answer in this document.

What is the obligation on Recyclate Information for Material Data Sheets?

With Release 3.0 (active since May 24th, 2005) IMDS implemented the Recyclate tab directly to the material chapter if one of the following classifications is built to a component level: 1.1 up to 5.5.2 and 6.2.

For classifications 7.1 and 7.2 this was implemented in May 4th, 2011.

The default Recyclate answer is ‘No’ – this became activated automatically if one of the given classifications has been added to a component node – for components which were created prior to these dates the recyclate question does not need to be answered if IMDS does not generate an error message.

Is there additional information regarding the requirement of a Standard Material Number according to Recommendation IMDS001?

The standard material number field is only available for material classifications 1x - 4x. This number is from a numbering schema that uniquely identifies the chemical composition of the metal. Different parts of the world use different standards. One of the more popular numbering schemas is the UNS (Unified Numbering System), although the Japanese standard is JIS. Another schema is the VDeH which only encompasses Steels and Irons.

It should be noted that not all materials in classification 1x - 4x are manufactured to a norm or have a standard material number. A missing value in this field is not an automatic reason for rejection (which is why lack of a value does not result in a warning or error in IMDS).

Prior to Release 4.1 it was impossible to add a standard material number e.g. for copper alloys. Therefore, data without standard material number are still valid, if they were created before IMDS Release 4.1. Please check the release date on materials of this classification.

How can the Analysis Weight be different than the Calculated Weight?

If tolerances were not allowed, the Calculated weight would always equal the Analysis weight. However, since tolerances are allowed, there are sometimes differences.

In the check function to release an MDS, the system compares the “Measured Weight” of the parent with the “Sum of the Measured Weight” of the children (Calculated Weight).

However, Analysis checks the measured weights of the entire tree structure.

For further information, please read How can I find where I've used a particular substance or how can I analyze MDSs or how can the Analysis function be best used?

What is the reason for "weighted means" in IMDS rather than just means?

If the sum of all single means from sub-nodes in a product structure tree is not 100% a correction of these means is necessary. For doing so, the ranges are used as weighting coefficient. Large ranges are corrected more, smaller ranges less.

Calculating the means is carried out according to the formula

(min + max) / 2 (= arithmetic mean)

However, there are exeptions to this rule, e.g. if the sum of all arithmetic means plus fix values is larger or smaller than 100%.

To give you an example with one MDS containing two materials with ranges:

A 30 - 51% (arithmetic mean 40.5%)
B 49 - 60% (arithmetic mean 54.5%)

There are no further nodes on this level and no rest. The sum of the arithmetic means is 95%.

Therefore, a correction of these means is necessary in order to reach 100%. For doing so, the ranges (21 for the first node and 11 for the second node) are used as weighting coefficient.

For splitting up the missing 5% the sum of all ranges is needed:

21% + 11% = 32%

Corrective value for material A: 5% / 32% x 21% = 3,28125%
Corrective value for material B: 5% / 32% x 11% = 1,71875%

The following weighted means are the result:

A 40,5% + 3,28125% = 43,78125%
B 54,5% + 1,71875% = 56,21875%

It is also possible that the sum of all substances in one case is 99.99999% and in another 100.000001%. These differences to 100% are a result of rounding-off differences if there are many nodes and many corrective values to be calculated.

Is there a better explanation for the permitted ranges in Recommendation 001?

To determine the range permitted and not receive the Recommendation 001 warning

  1. Note your material classification.
  2. Use the Material classification to find the right table - most will use the 3rd table.
  3. Note your lower limit.
  4. Select the correct row in the table paying particular attention to the breakpoints. If it is on the border, the higher row in the table is used.
  5. Find the associated M value.
  6. Add M to the lower limit to get the maximum allowable upper value that will not generate a warning.
Please note that while the IMDS System allows you to send an MDS with warnings, it is up to your customer to decide whether to accept a warning or not.

What is Specific Weight and how should it be entered?

Please find the answer in this document.

Norms and Standards

What do the Norms / Standards acronyms mean?

General Norms and Standards

ABS American Bureau of Shipping / ABS Rules
AISI American Iron and Steel Institute / Steel Products Manuals
API American Petroleum Institute
AS Australian Standard
AS/NZS Australian Standards/New Zealand Standards
ASME American Society of Mechanical Engineers
ASN Australian New Zealand Standard
ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials
BS British Standards
CDA Copper Development Association
CSN Czech technical standard
DIN Deutsche Industrie Norm, published by Deutsches Institut fuer Normung (German standards agency)
DIN EN German Translation of EN Standard
EN European standard, published by CEN (European Committee for Standardisation)
EN ISO EU translation of ISO Standard
GB China National Standard
GL-Vorschrift German Lloyd / Rules for Classification and Construction of Seagoing Ship
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
IPC Institute of Interconnecting and Packaging Electronic Circuits (Association Connecting Electronics Industries)
ISO International Standards Organization
JAMA Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc.
JASO Japanese Automobile Standard Organization
JFS Japan Iron and Steel Federation
JIS Japanese Industrial Standard, published by JSA (Japanese Standard Association)
KS Korean (Industrial) Standards
MPIF Metal Powder Industries Federation (North America)
NBR Brazilian Standards, published by ABNT
NF Norme Francaise, published by AFNOR
NP Norma Portugguesa
SAE Society of Automotive Engineers / SAE H/B, AMS Std.
SE Swedish Norm. Often replaced by EN-norms
SEW Stahl-Eisen-Werkstoffblatt (VDEH)
SIS Svensk Standard Sweden
SS Singapore Standards
UIC Union of International Railways
UNE Asociacion Espanola de Normalizacion
UNI Ente Nazionale Italiano di Unificazione
UNS Unified Numbering System
VDA Verband der Deutschen Automobilindustrie (German Automobile Industry Association)
VDG Verein Deutscher Giessereifachleute e.V.
WL Werkstoffleistungsblaetter Luftfahrt. German Association, especially for high temperature materials.

Why are the Inhouse Norms entered for materials not seen by the recipients?

In order to avoid complete transparency within the supply chain, the inhouse norms which are entered for certain materials can only be seen by the intended automobile manufacturer.

This means users in only two companies can see this information:

  • The material creating company.
  • The specific IMDS company that owns the norm (example, if the OEM has sister companies, only users in a single company that relates to the norm can see it).

If a user is in any other company along the supply chain, there will not be any information displayed.

By use of this feature, a single supplier may have many customers for the same material and no one will know except the material supplier. Asking for this information in the REMARK field is not desired and defeats the security built into IMDS.

Is there any information as to how the UNS system maps to NA standards?

This list for download gives an overview on the IMDS Committee published materials with NA norms/standards. A value from the UNS (Unified Numbering System) is used as the standard material number. A standard material number uniquely identifies the chemical content of a material while many norms can apply to a range of chemical composition.

A guideline how to find materials that have such a UNS number is included in the presentation.

Where an update to an existing IMDS Committee material has be created, the old versions of the MDS is hidden and cannot be found for new MDSs. If old materials are in a tree structure of a MDS, they can be used and need not be updated.

Is there any information on materials published to the Japanese Norms/Standards?

This list for download gives an overview on the Japanese norms/standards, which were updated in November 2007.

A guideline how to find materials which have such a norm/standard referenced you can download here.

Approximately 80 new materials have been published to the JIS standards. Approximately 700 existing materials have been updated and merged. Furthermore, 100 existing materials were deactivated. The deactivated materials attached to existing data sheets can still be used. However, they are no longer available for constructing new or new versions of data sheets.

IMDS Errors and Warnings

What do the warnings and errors in IMDS mean and how can I fix them?

Here you can download the error code list in IMDS and how to fix them:

List of Errors and Corrections in IMDS

Additionally, you can download a description on how you can correct the errors in IMDS.

Based on discussions after IMDS Rel. 7.0 and as agreed with suppliers organized in AIAG and CLEPA, the IMDS Steering Committee published the information regarding warnings in IMDS quality checks.

Why am I getting ERROR messages:only valid Applications can be used for Basic Substances?

Over the years, due to changes in the Annex II, some application codes have had to be retired. Even though there is the Recommendation on Change Management, you may have to resubmit.

It is a warning (and you can send the MDS anyway), when the invalid application is included in a referenced component (from your supplier). In this case, the applications are read-only and you can therefore, not change them (e.g. the MDS was sent to you). However, although the IMDS system allows you to send with a warning your customer may choose to not follow Recommendation 022 and require you to resubmit

It is an error (and the application must be changed before sending), when the invalid application ...

  1. is assigned to a component MDS created by your company or
  2. was added for an OEM

Why am I getting the 10% warning of undeclared substances?

When calculating the maximum amount of jokers used in a material, IMDS uses "worst case" calculation. The value given as "rest" on the joker substances is not the same as the value used in the warning calculation.

The 10% warning requires a bit of understanding on how the calculations work. For example, if you have a material comprised of substance a, substance b, substance c, and a joker:

  • Substance a - range from 25 to 29 - weighted average 27
  • Substance b - range from 36 to 40 - weighted average 38
  • Substance c - range from 26 to 30 - weighted average 28
  • Joker - REST - 7%


  • Even though substance a has a weighted average of 27, it COULD have as little as 25% of substance a
  • Even though substance b has a weighted average of 38, it COULD have as little as 36% of substance b
  • Even though substance c has a weighted average of 28, it COULD have as little as 26% of substance c

So really, for sure, all we know that the total of substance a, b, and c are 87% so the joker could be 13% which is > 10% and sets off the warning.

Additionally, should you use a range on a joker such as Joker - from 9% to 11%, the maximum value of the range is used in the calculation.

To avoid this warning, do not use "rest" on a joker substance.

Why am I getting more errors and warnings on previously released (legacy) data?

New checks are implemented in almost every new IMDS release. Until 2008, previously release data sheets were exempt from the new checks and the customer could not easily see the warnings that the supplier was ignoring or for rules that had been implemented after the initial data sheet release. As a response to supplier requests, Release 6.0 brought a complete check of the tree both on the supplier side when releasing/publishing/sending/proposing and on the customer side when accepting. This has resulted in making visible all the warnings on the tree structure and making it easier for a customer to enforce his requirements - thus improving data quality and consistency.

The range warnings and 10% warning was implemented in Release 4.0 (2006).
Recommendation 001 range requirements were published in 2003.


What does status "prec" mean on the Sent or Receive Search screens?

"prec" means "in process at recipient".

With Release 3.0, IMDS Advanced Interface users had the option of offloading the MDSs in their incoming list to an inhouse system; so some of the checks could be automated. Companies who select this option also have the option of setting the company up for changing the status of incoming datasheets via XML code.

When an MDS has the status "prec", the recipient company has chosen this option and the status will remain "prec" until the recipient company changes it to "acpt" or "recd" via XML code. The users in the receiving company cannot change the status in the IMDS browser.

The sending company cannot delete the MDS or delete the recipient company off the MDS while it is in this status.

How can I check to see if my supplier is registered?

Depending on your user profile, there are different options available to search on your supplier contacts.

All user profiles:

  1. From any Search screen with a Company Search option (supplier or customer)
  2. Click on the + to open the company search screen
  3. Suggest clicking on the Org-Unit radial button as some companies use these
  4. Enter * and part of the company name in the Org.-Unit field
  5. Click on Search
  6. Company contact names can be seen by using the View after selecting a company.

Company Administrator profile:

  1. From the Administration menu, select Trust User
  2. Enter * and part of the company name in the name or Org.-Unit field or * and the e-mail domain in the e-mail address field
  3. Click on Search
  4. The details of a user can be seen by selecting the user and View

This information cannot be used in copy/paste.

What should I know about Receiving an MDS from a Supplier?

Please find the answer in this document.

Where can I find information on Sending/Proposing or Releasing an MDS?

Please find the answer in this document.

How can I use the MDS Request function?

Please find the answer in this document.

How can I find out the information on the user who rejected my submission?

Some customers have a process that incorporates contact information into the rejection text. However, this is optional. Should you need to know how to contact the person who rejected your MDS:

  1. Go to your Sent Items and search out and highlight the rejected MDS.
  2. There is an underlined link: recd - click on that.
  3. All the information about the MDS and the user who rejected it is displayed - caution, although the e-mail should be accurate because of password resets, frequently some dialing codes are missing in the phone number.

Is my customer right to reject my IMDS entries containing deleted ions?

The deletion of the ions in IMDS was carried out at the end of November 2008 and the Chromium III ion at the end of July 2009.


As pure ions do not exist as substances they never can be present in a material. Ions always are combined with other counter ions of different charge. Therefore you cannot use ions any more in your material as an ingredient, only salts containing these ions. In the future it will not be possible for the pure ions listed below to be selected any more. Please select instead the salt that contains the ion (e.g. sodium chloride rather than chloride):

Borate, Bromide, Carbide, Chloride, Chromate (CrO42-), Chromium (III)-ion, Fluoride, Iodide, Nickel, ion (Ni3+), Nitrate, Nitrite, Phosphate, SO4 radical, Sulfate, Sulfide, Sulfite, Thiosulfate, Zinc, ion (Zn2+), Zyanate, Zyanide

According to Recommendation 022 on Change Management, there is no reason to reject MDSs because of the warning message that deleted substances are contained. Existing MDSs using these ions will remain valid although the next time the material is updated, it must be corrected. OEMs are not rejecting for this warning although it could be said that the original submission was incorrect as ions cannot exist as substances in a material.

The IMDS-Committee materials containing these ions are acceptable in the current version however, newer versions are now available.

Please do not contact the IMDS Service Center for suggestions on how to replace the ions. Where possible, the people who manage the Basic Substance List have offered replacement suggestions. In this particular case, there is no suggestion because they do not know your materials. The manufacturer of the material needs to know what the ion combines with and what salt it makes. You need to contact a chemist familiar with the material.

Why is my customer not seeing my changes in either the Part Number or Description?

IMDS has been set up so that a supplier can propose the same MDS to many different customers without the supplier having to make copies and yet each customer will receive their specific purchase part information.

How this works is that in the customer's view, IMDS places the Part number and Description from the Recipient page onto the Ingredients page. In version .01, when you add the recipient, the information from the Ingredients page is copied to the Recipient information. However, when you modify the original version or copy/new version, the information on the recipient page is not updated.

How you should correct a rejected MDS when the MDS was rejected for either a part number or description issue:

  1. Modify the rejected MDS.
  2. Go to the Recipient Data screen, highlight the recipient that rejected, modify.
  3. Add whatever text is necessary to the Description field (it will take up to 250 characters but do not use line feeds or carriage returns).
  4. Hit Change, the status on highlighted line will be _modify.
  5. Hit Save.
  6. Either send or propose as originally.
If your customer has not accepted the MDS, ask them to reject.

If your customer has already accepted, you will have to make a copy/new version and go to the recipient screen and make the changes. No changes can be made to an accepted MDS.

What does "Forwarding allowed" mean and how does it work?

Please find the answer in this document.


Is there a limit for disclosing substances in materials?

According to Rule 4.5.1.B all basic substances in a material must be disclosed, either explicitly (visible or marked as confidential) or with a Joker/Wildcard. In materials with classification 5.x, 6.x, 7.x, or 9.x all substances are concerned whose concentrations are higher than 0.1 % (the standard threshold of GADSL) or which were intentionally added.

IMDS talks about homogeneous materials. What is a homogeneous material?

A homogeneous material would be a material that has no visible layers - even when placed under a microscope.

This can be shown using the example of a multiple coated screw.

Each layer on its own is defined as a "homogeneous material". This means that a screw [whose metal body is coated with a zinc alloy, followed by a passivation layer, finished by a 'top coat'] has four homogeneous materials: the body of the screw and three homogeneous coating layers.

A plated material is not a homogeneous material and needs to be represented as a semi-component or a component with multiple materials attached.

How do I request that the IMDS Committee publish a Standard Material?

In the IMDS there are materials, defined with public norms such as ASTM, SAE, JIS etc., published as standard material MDSs and released by the IMDS Steering Committee. If you need a public material having a standard norm that is not on the list yet, you may send an email with the standards body and the norm to an IMDS Service Center.

The requested standard material will be compared with the standard material list and, depending upon the results of the analysis, added to the list for free. You should note that not all standards are publishable. For example, many SAE standards describe properties of the material and not the chemical composition. Additionally, not all standards bodies are supported by IMDS.

In FAQ category "Norms and Standard" are supported Norms/Standards listed.

What does "Confidential Substance" means?

Substances that are: not declarable or prohibited according to GADSL, or are not an SVHC, do not appear on a Renault list, or do not require an application code may be marked confidential. These substances have a check box confidential in the detail section of the basic substance on the Ingredients page. If a substance is marked confidential, it may only be seen by users in the creating company and by “trusted users” in another IMDS company. All other users see is "Confidential Substances".

A user in another company is given “trusted user” status by the Company Administrator of the MDS-creating company. The MDS-creating company remains the data owner. Along the supply chain this information is only visible to these “trusted users”. It is not possible to transfer confidential substances via data download into in-house systems – not even by OEMs. It is not possible for users in other IMDS companies to make a copy of the tree and retrieve the actual data.

No substance that is flagged as D, P, or D/P can be marked confidential at the time of the material creation. No joker/wildcard can be marked confidential. There is no joker/wildcard "confidential substance" or "secret substance".

Is there any Standard Material for screen printing ink/pad printing ink (cured) in IMDS?

The IMDS Committee has published a standard material “screen printing ink/pad printing ink (cured)”. Provided you have collected the information and your formulation is similar to the published MDS, this can be used.

This formulation has been supplied in 2004 by the manufacturers of screen printing ink who are organized in the Association of the printing ink industry. However, due to the changes in technology since 2004, you need to verify that this ink is still applicable to your situation. The material contains two components Organic ingredients (30-40%) and Pigment portion (Rest). Although 100% wildcard, the material fulfills the requirements of the restricted substances list of the European Printing Ink Industry Association (CEPE) as well as the regulations of the GADSL (Global Automotive Declarable Substance List).

Why is glass - CAS # 65997-18-4 (glass frits) or 65997-17-3 (glass fibre) not found in IMDS?

These substances were removed from the basic substance list in 2004 and will not be re-added.

65997-17-3 (glass fibre) - deleted because a duplicate. If you search on Man-Made Fibre, you will find GF-Fibre that may be used (see also Recommendation 004 for textiles and how fibres can be found).

65997-18-4 (glass frits) - deleted because this describes a group of substances with some of the oxides being declarable on the GADSL and some not. Therefore it is recommended to document the mixture of the different oxides instead of using a single CAS number (see News > Newsletter Archive > Newsletter 6.

Are tape and film products homogenous materials?

Normally they are not. Tape and film products are entered in IMDS as semi-components consisting of e.g. an adhesive and foam layer. Exemption from this are tapes and films made from chemically cross-linked polymeric materials. Such tape and film products should be named “homogenous”.

Adhesive tapes based on polyacrylate should be named “PAKC homogenous adhesive tape”.

Is there a description on how to declare tyres in IMDS?

Yes, on this page prepared by ETRMA you can find a document with a detailed description.

How to declare glass, ceramic or enamel in IMDS

Under the REACH regulation glass is a UVCB substance (unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products or biological materials). It is virtually considered as a single substance and does not contain individual elements or oxides anymore. This approach will as well be used for IMDS entries of glass, ceramic and enamel. Declarable constituents and additives still have to be reported separately.

From now on all newly created entries for glass, ceramic and enamel must be described by using a single (pseudo) substance for the basic material, according to the new approach listed below. An additional functionality in IMDS (coming latest 2nd quarter 2014) will support the update of higher numbers of existing entries. If a change is impossible old entries still can be used.

Examples for Glass MDSs – PDF-File, 35.2 KB

Basic Substances

General Information reqarding Basic Substances in IMDS

IMDS Basic Substances include a range of pure elements, chemical compounds and some mixtures that are generally accepted as the constituents of materials used in industrial applications (e.g. automotive, electronic etc.). Where the relationship between a Basic Substance and a Material is uncertain, the determination is made that permits optimal conformance with the ELV Directive and other regulations.

In the IMDS there are about 8,000 substances contained with their names and CAS-Numbers. A Chemical Service is responsible for the regular maintanance of the "list of basic substances" and researches all requiests for addition.

In the basic substance list in IMDS there are three different types of substances. Since there are limitations in e.g. IMDS Recommendation 001 on how to use these substances it is important to know the difference between them. The following types exist:

1. Regular basic substance - This is a basic substance that has a CAS-No. meaning it is a clearly defined substance. Water (CAS-No. 7732-18-5) is a good example.  With the exception of Pseudo-substances and jokers, you should always search on the CAS or EINECS number and not a text string. Substances may have many synonyms and not all are listed in IMDS. Additionally there is sometimes a difference between US and European spelling of a chemical. If you cannot find your substance, do a search on the CAS number in Google or some other search engine. If you don't find any hits, chances are you have an invalid CAS number.

2. Pseudo-Substance - A pseudo-substance gives an accurate description of the substance or the substance group but does not have a CAS-No. Some examples are "Acrylic resin" or "Cotton-fibre". It is important to point out that these substances are accepted as real substances in IMDS and are not considered as wildcards. They are therefore allowed to be used up to 100% according to the IMDS Recommendation 001 (although a material comprised of 100% of a single subtance is not generally allowed).

3. Jokers or Wildcards - These substances do not define a specific substance. Examples are "Miscellaneous" or "Not yet defined". Please note that any declarable substance is not allowed to be replaced by a joker. According to Recommendation 001 only 10% of the substances in a material are allowed to be covered by a joker. There are only 9 jokers/wildcards and all have the CAS number "system".

What are the meanings of the criteria for Process Chemicals?

Process chemicals usually used within the production process but don't appear in the finished part. Substances listed in the substance group "Process Chemicals" include liquids (e.g. solvents), reactants (polymerization agent), and gases.

Verification of the use is required when these substances are added to a material in IMDS. Suppliers must indicate the chemical presence type when adding these substances if the portion is >0.1%. If the substance is not present in the final part, the supplier is requested to refrain from adding it in IMDS.

What are definitions of each "chemical presence type"?

"Intended" indicates that the liquid or gas is still present in the finished part at a significant level (generally greater than 0.1%). Most assembled parts are solids, and have no liquid or gas content, but there are a small number of parts that have liquids or gases for a specified use. Volatile substances evaporate during production and are not contained in the finished part. These should not be entered into IMDS.

"Residue" is used if a small amount (generally less than 0.1%) of the chemical is left in the final part. This residue may be from a solvent where the majority of the solvent has evaporated, or may be a residue from a reaction.

"Impurity" can occur during the manufacturing of the material or part. These substances are not intentionally added to the material or part. The concentration in the material is minimal (generally less than 0.1%).

How do I request a Basic Substance be added to the Basic Substance List?

Please find the answer in this document.

What happens if deleted MDSs/Basic Substances are contained in an MDS?

Deleted MDSs

MDSs can be deleted by all users for a variety of reasons. If such a deleted MDS is referenced in another MDS a warning message comes up when somebody tries to send or check this respective MDS containing a deleted MDS. However, the MDS can still be sent. Usually a customer will not reject for a warning on a deleted MDS.

Deleted Basic Substances

In rare cases, basic substances are deleted from the IMDS. This may happen because the basic substance is available in IMDS in a wrong way (e.g. as a duplicate). Then one of the two duplicates will be left in the system but logically deleted in order to keep existing references in those MDSs using this basic substance. The second version of this duplicate remains in the system and can be used as before.

For the deleted substances, the CAS number will still be in the system but internal to the system it has a different pointer in the database and the old pointer is no longer valid - generating a warning message. The old reference is no longer available for further referencing.

Technically, you can still send an MDS with this warning message. It is not a problem with IMDS. However, as each customer requirement is different, we cannot say whether it will be accepted by your customer if there are warnings.

Rejecting an MDS for this reason is possible, since the client can check before accepting/rejecting if a deleted MDS/basic substance is referenced. An exception is the use of in-house systems for analysis - those users might have more possibilities to search for deleted items.

To resolve the warning, you will need to either create a new version of the material or have your supplier create a new version and put on the proper substance and release it, and then go to wherever they had the problem MDS and delete off the old version of the material and add the new version.

With Release 7.0 replacement suggestions for deleted substances can be available. If this is the case, it will be shown in the MDS for the respective deleted substance in the details.

Depending on the structure, this may require several levels of change - for example if a component has a sub-component (with a black dot in the icon) attached and the material is attached to the sub-component, they will need to:

  1. Change the material and release the MDS,
  2. Edit the sub-component deleting off the old version of the material and adding the new one and releasing the sub-component, and
  3. Edit the component deleting off the sub-component and adding in the new version of the sub-component and send it to your customer.

You may wish to use analysis to find where the material with the deleted substance or deleted MDS is attached.

Why can one not find Lead or any other element by its Chemical Symbol?

Due to how IMDS searches are conducted (implied * at the end of a character string) and the number of hits you would receive, Searching by the chemical symbol is not currently in the design requirements of IMDS. Elements from the periodic table have been entered with their name in European English or German. However, be aware that for some elements, the European English spelling is different from the American English (e.g. sulfur/sulphur) so searching by CAS number is best.

For sites where you can locate the CAS number of elements, please use an internet search engine (e.g. Google, Bing, Yahoo) and the phrase: periodic table CAS numbers.

Why is a Substance marked D, P, or D/P in IMDS and it isn't on the GADSL?

The GADSL is not meant to be an exhaustive list although users consider it as such. GADSL contains only substances that are expected to be on the vehicle as sold or at its end of life. There are many substances in the basic substance list that are under legislation as reportable or prohibited, but these are processing chemicals. Basic substances are added per user request with no quality judgment as to whether they would be on the vehicle as sold.

How should Hexavalent Chromium (CrVI) in Chromatized Zinc and Zinc Alloy coatings be handled in IMDS?

Please read the related IMDS recommendations 008 and 009 in the IMDS application. After login to IMDS you can find it under the menu item Recommendations. Please be sure to download both files in each Recommenation as the 2nd file is referenced by the first file.

Why can't I find ions such as Chromium III in the Basic Substance List?

As some ions do have CAS numbers, they were included initially in the Basic Substance List. However, in the past 10 years opinions evolved and it was determined that it did not make sense to include them as pure ions do not exist as substances they never can be present in a material. Ions always are combined with other counter ions of different charge. Therefore you can no longer use ions in your material as an ingredient - only salts containing these ions.

In November, 2008, most of the ions were deactivated from the Basic Substance List: Borate, Bromide, Carbide, Chloride, Chromate (CrO42-), Fluoride, Iodide, Nickel, ion (Ni3+), Nitrate, Nitrite, Phosphate, SO4 radical, Sulfate, Sulfide, Sulfite, Thiosulfate, Zinc, ion (Zn2+), Zyanate, Zyanide

Due to the large number of MDSs that contained the Chromium III ion, it was left active until late July, 2009.

The reason that there are no replacement suggestions is that the manufacturer of the material needs to know what the ion combines with and what salt it makes. The system cannot offer a suggestion because it does not manufacture the material. You need to contact a chemist familiar with the material in its final state.

This is why the ions were removed. A chemist needs to state what the final compound is. You cannot have free ions in a final product. It is expected that someone who knows the material will enter the data for the material.

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Web Content Display

Here you can download the most recent IMDS User Manual.

Here you can download the User Manual in Czech language.

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Where can I find the European ELV Directive and the latest version of Annex II?

Here you can download the EU ELV Directive 2000/53/EC and the latest version of the Annex II (Version: May 2013).

Here you can additionally find an IMDS Steering Committee document on the application changes for your support (Version: October 2013).