In a press release published on June 15, 2018, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) informed of a new collaboration agreement it signed the day before with the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), aimed at “further improv[ing] REACH implementation.” This new initiative was developed in response to the 2018 General Report on REACH released by the European Commission (EC) in March 2018 (FPF reported).

A joint statement by both parties reinforces “a commitment from both industry and ECHA to focus on improving the scientific assessment of some substances or groups of substances, further enhancing safety information and its communication across the supply chain.”

Marco Mensink, Cefic’s director-general, further commented that “[i]ndustry will help ECHA to improve the quality of dossiers to help monitoring and enforcement and to improve the scientific quality of the process.”

In an article published on June 14, 2018 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, editor Nick Hazlewood gave some further insights into Mensink’s views on REACH, summarizing the statements Mensink made during his keynote speech at the Helsinki Chemicals Forum on the same day. In particular, Mensink said that there is a need for a “smart REACH foreign policy,” aiming to “sell REACH abroad” and make REACH compliance “a global brand.” Worldwide acceptance of REACH would help to avoid duplication costs and allow for “more accessible” markets. However, to enable this vision, there must be trust that REACH delivers. In this regard, Mensink called for “care” when talking about the quality of REACH registration dossiers, asking a rhetorical question: “How will the world buy our brand if we constantly weaken ourselves?”

Commenting on Mensink’s speech, ECHA’s executive director Bjorn Hansen said that he sees “advantages” of “having REACH as a brand,” but the details “need to be worked out.” He further reinforced that the EC’s recent review of REACH “had highlighted areas where more needed to be done,” in particular with regard to technical tools and the efficiency of the whole process. Further, Hansen said that “[w]e need to get more knowledge on chemicals out there earlier” and “identify the problems earlier.”

Read more

ECHA (June 15, 2018). “ECHA and Cefic sign joint statement to work on effective implementation of REACH.

Cefic (June 14, 2018). “ECHA and Cefic sign joint statement to work on effective implementation of REACH.

Nick Hazlewood (June 14, 2018). “Cefic head urges ‘smart REACH foreign policy.’Chemical Watch

Chemical Watch (June 15, 2018). “ECHA and Cefic sign cooperation agreement to improve REACH implementation.


ECHA and CEFIC (June 14, 2018). “Joint statement.(pdf)