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Chemical Industry aims to meet 30 November REACH deadline

Date

13 Sep 2010

Cooperation with key stakeholders working well, learning process continues

The European chemical sector is putting the final pieces in place to meet the upcoming 30 November REACH chemicals registration deadline, industry leaders said today at a high-level press briefing at European Commission headquarters in Brussels.

Chemical industry executives joined EU Commissioners for Environment and Enterprise along with the head of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to give an update to reporters on the much anticipated REACH deadline.

“Companies are doing their utmost to comply with REACH and to meet the first registration deadline,” said Cefic President Christian Jourquin, who joined EU Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani and EU Commissioner Janez Potočnik at the briefing. “The industry has been actively involved in the establishment of REACH as well as its implementation, which applies to thousands of substances.”

Strong overall cooperation among the chemical industry, the EU Commission and ECHA have helped resolve some of many problems that have occurred during the REACH registration process so far. Companies from Europe’s €450 billion chemical industry have joined up with national chemical industry bodies and regulatory authorities to comply with the regulatory framework, the world’s most demanding system designed for the safe use of chemicals.

But many components of the framework fall into unchartered territory, as companies face an array of unprecedented requirements that producers find costly and time consuming. Small- and medium-sized enterprises especially have experienced problems related to the lack of expertise required to complete complex regulatory tasks.

“Besides the resource issue, the cost burden especially hits the bottom line of small- and medium-sized firms, who represent more than 90 per cent of all chemical companies,” argues Cefic Director General Hubert Mandery. “The concerns of SMEs should be taken seriously into consideration, as the following two registration phases for lower tonnage substances will be significantly more burdensome for them.”

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Chemical Industry to meet 30 November REACH deadline…add one

In addition to the upcoming REACH deadline, the chemical industry this January must meet an additional deadline to comply with the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances regulation (CLP). The CLP regulation includes existing chemicals currently on the market and unnecessarily covers small quantities of millions of substances exchanged between research laboratories. Compliance with CLP, industry leaders note, will direct additional resources from companies’ other business operations, including research.

Mandery added: “It’s in the industry’s interest that REACH is workable, practical and cost affordable. Furthermore, we want to see the plethora of European substance-related legislation consistent with REACH.” 

For more information, contact James Pieper on +32 (0)2 676 7398 or via email on jpi@cefic.org.

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Note to editors:

About Cefic

Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, is the Brussels-based organisation representing the European chemical industry. It represents 29,000 companies that produce around a quarter of the world’s chemicals and employs about 1.2 million people.

REACH resources from Cefic

Brussels-based Cefic has put in place considerable resources to help companies comply with the legislation. The trade association has introduced REACHCentrum, a service designed to help simplify the process of forming and maintaining REACH consortia. The industry group’s coordinated programmes have trained hundreds of experts on REACH through seminars and regularly scheduled updates to members on compliance topics.

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