ECHA finds poor-quality REACH dossiers

12th March 2012

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The quality of many REACH (registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals) registration dossiers continues to be poor, according to the latest evaluation report from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)

The Helsinki-based organisation says that registrants need to do more to revise the dossiers drawn up to comply with the REACH Regulation, as many are failing to update their dossiers as new information on substances becomes available.

“The law is clear that the dossier remains the registrant’s responsibility and they need to keep it up to date,” says ECHA executive director, Geert Dancet. “I make this point because I am aware of the temptation for registrants to step back and relax after having submitted a dossier.”

Each year the ECHA checks at least 5% of all dossiers, and in 2011 it completed 146 compliance checks, more than double the number in 2010. Of the 2011 total, 105 (almost 72%) resulted in the agency requesting further information from the registrant.

In another 19 cases, the ECHA issued quality observation letters setting out how the quality of the dossier could be improved. A further 10 draft decisions were withdrawn after a dossier update and in 12 cases, the dossiers were closed without regulatory action.

The agency says the high proportion of compliance checks where action was required indicates that while registrants are striving to fulfil their obligations regarding information requirements under REACH, there is insufficient quality of registrations overall.

“The number of registrations is impressive,” says Dancet. “However, ‘the devil is in the detail’ and now we have a clearer view of where this makes a difference in dossier compliance and quality of disseminated data. Remember, information is at the heart of REACH and it was the lack of data on tens of thousands of substances in use in Europe that led to REACH in the first place.”


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