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REACH Regulation – your chance to comment

  • United Kingdom
  • Environment - Chemical compliance
  • Diversified industrials - Chemicals

19-12-2016

The European Commission must monitor and report on the implementation of REACH every 5 years. The second REACH Review, due 2017, will evaluate REACH’s effectiveness, efficiency, and relevance and the added value of regulating chemicals at an EU level. It will look at the strengths and weaknesses of REACH and the potential to reduce burden and simplification. The review will build on the findings of the first REACH Review (published 2013) and it is taking place in parallel with a fitness check on other chemicals legislation under the Commission’s Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT).

A public consultation is currently open to obtain stakeholder views on the general approach to the second REACH Review, and on whether REACH is achieving its objectives and fulfilling certain results. Key questions include:

1. the extent to which REACH improves protection of consumers, workers and the environment, reduces barriers to trade, enhances competition and promotes alternative methods to animal testing;

2. the effectiveness of ECHA (the European Chemicals Agency);

3. the extent to which the REACH Regulation has been implemented successfully and whether enforcement is satisfactory;

4. the positive and negative unintended effects of REACH; and

5. whether the costs of compliance are proportionate and if ECHA’s fees are appropriate.

The public consultation is open until 28 January 2017 and can be accessed at https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/REACHrefit2017

It is part of a broader stakeholder consultation strategy which includes a specific consultation on issues relevant to SMEs which will be carried out through the Europe Enterprise Network. This was expected to be carried out in Q3 2016. However, the European Commission webpage does not currently provide a link to this consultation.

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/reach/review_2017_en.htm

Despite the Brexit vote, the UK remains bound by REACH and other EU legislation whilst it remains in the EU, including the legal obligation to register substances under REACH by the May 2018 deadline. The Government has indicated its intention to convert EU law including REACH into UK law “wherever practical”, on Brexit, This means having a form of UK REACH, and there are many questions over what that will ultimately look like, whether it will be more or less rigorous than EU REACH and what the associated compliance costs will be. Consideration now of many of the issues raised in the Commission consultation is therefore very timely.

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