The non-governmental organization European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has challenged the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to improve on ten activities within the next year. These focus on the management of the REACH regulations and include:

  • Increasing transparency and improving dissemination through ensuring transparency of ECHA Committees meetings and the transparency and user-friendliness of ECHA’s database;
  • Enabling application of the precautionary principle through investigation of uncertainties and cost of inaction;
  • Allocating the burden of proof onto industry registrants through an independent evaluation of ECHA’s socio-economic assessment methodology, and setting guidance on minimum information requirements for justifying exceptions to restrictions;
  • Promoting substitution through organizing supply chain workshops on alternatives, ensuring the option for not granting applications for authorization, ensuring applicants can systematically prove that no alternatives are available, and stopping the approval of derogations for substances of concern in recycled material until a clear position is adopted by the European Commission.

 EEB writes that they “consider the delivery of these activities as indicators of ECHA’s commitment and success towards implementing REACH’s underlying democratic and environmental principles” and that they will “evaluate and communicate [on the] progress in one-year time.”

Regulatory news provider Chemical Watch reported that ECHA responded saying it is “happy to be challenged” by stakeholders, but it did not commit to these activities. It highlighted that the agency is not able to take on additional tasks unless “other work is deprioritized,” and that it has already agreed to a “significant amount” of additional work in recent years “without additional funding.”

Read more

EEB (March 2020). “ECHA’s progress towards implementing REACH principles. Ten crucial tests for 2020.” (pdf)

Luke Buxton (March 2020). “NGO sets 12-month challenge for Echa to improve REACH implementation.” Chemical Watch