Tuesday, December 6, 2011

EU Member States Want REACH Revised to Better Address Small Company Concerns

Small and medium-sized businesses are disproportionately impacted by the high costs of compliance with the EU REACH chemical regulation, according to several Member State representatives at a recent forum. With the European Commission working on a review of the REACH regulation - a report is due to be published in 2012 - Member States are hoping that come changes can be made to assess the impacts on the smaller registrants that have less financial and technical resources.

The large production volume substances (greater than 1000 metric tonnes per year) were registered by November 30, 2010.  The mid-range production volume substances (greater than 100 metric tonnes per year) are due to be registered by May 31, 2013.  The smallest tonnages covered by REACH (greater than 1 tpy) must be registered by 2018. 

As production tonnages go down the amount and cost of data required for registration goes down. Registration fees also decrease, and there are additional discounts for small and micro companies.  Still, many small and medium sized companies feel that the cost of registration is prohibitive.  Besides the data requirements for REACH, companies that make or use hazardous substances are required to notify ECHA.

All of the concerns raised by Member States and other stakeholders will be considered by the Commission and included in their review.  It remains to be seen whether there are substantive changes made to the REACH regulation, or merely tweaks to make the system work more efficiently for the companies that will be registering by the 2013 and 2018 deadlines.

More information on the 2013 deadline and other aspects of REACH can be found on the ECHA web site.

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