New guidance on REACH authorisation

12th May 2014

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  • EU ,
  • EMS ,
  • Procurement ,
  • Supply chain



The UK Chemicals Stakeholder Forum (UKCSF) has published new "business-friendly" guidance on the REACH authorisation process, after industry called for clearer advice

In responding to the government's red-tape challenge review of environmental regulation, organisations such as the UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA) said the guidance available on the REACH regime was lengthy and difficult to understand, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The new six-page advice note provides an introduction to the EU REACH Regulation, which controls the use of certain hazardous chemicals across the bloc, before outlining what the authorisation process entails and how it will affect companies.

Chemicals that are subject to authorisation under REACH cannot be used in the EU unless a company has been specifically authorised to do so, with the aim of ensuring such substances are phased out of all "non-essential" uses in future. A recent CIA survey suggested that 40% of businesses will have to deal with authorisation in the future.

The UKCSF guidance has been written specifically for downstream users and SMEs, and details where firms can find out information on how to substitute chemicals subject to authorisation, as well as advice about applying for authorisation and links to further information from industry, the UK REACH Competent Authority and ECHA.

"Anyone who has grappled with REACH knows that it is complicated. This clear guidance is a positive step to delivering better communication and closer working cooperation throughout the supply chain," said Steve Elliott, chief executive at the CIA.

Terry Scuoler, chief executive at EEF, agreed: "Too often guidance doesn't meet SMEs needs. EU guidance on REACH compliance is crucial to understand, but suffers from being extremely complex and lengthy. This guidance is an important step in meeting the needs of our smaller companies."

UKCSF Chairman, David Phillips, called on the chemicals sector to share the new guidance with their supply chains and confirmed that, alongside feeding back its advice to the European Chemicals Agency, the forum would now been looking at how it can produce advice on the 2018 REACH Registration deadline.

The UKCSF advice on REACH authorisation can be downloaded by clicking here.

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