Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ECHA Publishes Report on Experiences of Successful REACH Registrants

From the ECHA News Alert:

In July 2011, ECHA conducted a survey with companies who had successfully submitted a registration under REACH. The survey aimed to learn about the companies' experiences in preparing and submitting registrations and to identify areas in which the Agency could improve its services. Almost 900 companies responded to the survey; over 21% of the companies that registered their substances under REACH. The majority of responses came from large companies based in Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, France and Spain. The share of SMEs (46%) having responded to the survey was significantly higher than their proportion among registrants.

The survey revealed interesting findings. For instance, 40% of companies prepared their dossiers with the support of consultants. According to the companies, the most important reasons for outsourcing the work were a limited capacity within the company or the desire to minimise the administrative burden within the company. With regard to the registration costs, the respondents indicated that the largest expenses were related to the registration fees, the collection of necessary information and consultancy services. The answers about the importance of various aspects in preparing for 2013 deadline showed that it is essential to have a sufficient knowledge of English as the language in which nearly all SIEFs are conducted, to nominate the Lead Registrant early, and to train staff on REACH / registration procedures.

ECHA was pleased to see that the companies appreciated the material provided by the Agency – 92% of respondents used it. 17% of registrants who submitted dossiers containing a Chemical Safety Report with an Exposure Scenario made use of the Chesar tool provided by ECHA.

Based on the feedback, ECHA is planning support for 2013 registrants: the Agency will continue developing and promoting the Chesar tool for Chemical Safety Assessments and Reports, it will work further to provide updated supporting material and will aim to further improve its communication channels. 

The report is available for download as a PDF here.

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.