REACH 'functioning well', says Commission

11th March 2013

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The regulatory regime monitoring the use of chemicals in Europe is performing well, according to the European Commission, but action is needed to improve the quality of dossiers and to reduce the costs of compliance for small businesses

In its first review of the REACH Regulation, which requires organisations manufacturing or importing chemicals to gather information on the properties of substances to help manage them safely, and to register the information on a central database, the commission concluded that the regime is on track to deliver its objective of protecting the natural environment and human health.

More than 30,600 dossiers on more than 7,800 substances have logged with the European Chemicals Association (ECHA) since REACH’s launch in 2007, and the review claims this information is improving risk-management procedures.

However, the commission also confirms that many dossiers are noncompliant and that registrants were failing to assess effectively the bioaccumulative and toxic properties of chemicals.

“We are off to a good start. But there is still work to be done,” acknowledged Janez Potocnik, EU commissioner for environment.

Following the review, the ECHA revealed that it had identified problems with two-thirds of the dossiers it had checked for compliance during 2012.

Common shortcomings included failures properly to identify substances and inadequate chemical safety reports.

Ahead of the next registration deadline on 31 May, ECHA has launched a “dossier quality assistant” tool for its IUCLID 5 software programme to help firms check their registration documents.


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