In a press release published on March 26, 2019, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced that it has invited national enforcement authorities to prioritize the enforcement of evaluation decisions made on REACH registration dossiers. ECHA writes that they expect an increase in the number of decisions that will be made. Since the start of 2019, the agency has been “addressing its evaluation decisions to all registrants with non-compliant dossiers,” which is “a change from the previous practice of mainly addressing lead registrants.” ECHA will also launch a pilot for EU member state enforcement authorities “to voluntarily report annual national enforcement activities to the Agency.” Speaking to Chemical Watch, ECHA Enforcement Forum Chair Katja vom Hofe commented that “enforcement activity needs to be harmonized to some extent, as the same decision is sent to multiple [national enforcement agencies] across multiple member states. They will need to somehow coordinate their enforcement actions to ensure a level playing field in the EU, which is our goal.”
Speaking at Chemical Watch’s Global Business Summit, ECHA’s executive director Bjorn Hansen commented that the Agency will also consider reviewing REACH registration hazard data for all substances registered under REACH in volumes of 1 metric ton or greater by 2027. After this 2027 deadline, Hansen said that “there will still be lots to do because, of course, there are lots of chemicals that enter the market. We will continue our work but it will be less intensive.” The non-compliance of many existing REACH registration dossiers was highlighted during a second REACH review completed in March 2018 (FPF reported). ECHA’s action plan that will confirm and outline next steps regarding this is still under review and set to be published in June 2019.
In a statement published on April 2, 2019, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) commented that they “take ECHA’s findings that the quality of data in some REACH dossiers needs improvement seriously and [they] aim to be fully transparent about [their] plans to remediate the situation.” They went on to write that they “are cooperating with ECHA to identify those areas where data is missing” and are “now developing an action plan to effectively and efficiently address data gaps in REACH dossiers.” Once Cefic’s plan is “finalized and agreed on with ECHA” it will be published on Cefic’s website.
ECHA (March 26, 2019). “Enforcement authorities to focus on evaluation decisions.”
Luke Buxton (April 2, 2019). “EU enforcers to prioritise evaluation decisions.” Chemical Watch
Cefic (April 2, 2019). “The European Chemical Industry To Tackle Data Gaps In REACH Dossiers.”
Leigh Stringer (April 3, 2019). “EU plans data check for all chemicals above one tonne by 2027.” Chemical Watch