EU cuts REACH fees for SMEs

21st March 2013

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Small businesses will pay less to comply with REACH in the future, after the European Commission agreed new charges

The commission has adopted an amendment to Regulation EC/340/2008, which sets the fees for registering chemicals with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) under REACH.

Standard fees are to increase by approximately 7%, but discounts for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will see the costs of compliance fall for SMEs compared to current levels.

Under the changes, medium-sized firms (with up to 250 members of staff) will receive a 35% discount on standard registration fees, compared to the current 30% reduction; small firms (with up to 50 employees) will receive a 65% discount; and micro firms (with 10 employers or fewer) will get a 95% discount.

While the standard charge for registering a substance of 1-10 tonnes, for example, will rise from €1,600 to €1,714, medium sized firms will pay €1,114, compared to the €1,120 they pay currently, and small firms will pay €600 rather than €640.

Similar increases in the discounted rates will also apply for charges for authorisations and appeals.

The amendments to the charging regime came after the commission’s first five-year review of REACH concluded that the costs of the regime for SMEs were too high.

And, on 7 March, the commission revealed that SMEs ranked REACH as one of the top 10 most burdensome EU laws, alongside waste legislation and VAT rules.

“By reducing fees for SMEs affected by the REACH legislation, the commission is directly responding to their concerns,” said Antonio Tajani, the commissioner for industry and entrepreneurship, and Janez Potočnik, the environment commissioner.

“We are working together towards EU chemical legislation that protects health and the environment, as well helping European businesses to grow and to create jobs.”

The new charges will come into effect when the amendment is published in the Official Journal of the EU. The standard fees will be:



Fee for substances
1-10 tonnes



Fee for substances
10-100 tonnes



Fee for substances
100-1,000 tonnes



Fee for substances
above 1,000 tonnes




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