On June 25, 2019, the European Commission (EC) published a report presenting “Findings of the Fitness Check of the most relevant chemicals legislation (excluding REACH) and identified challenges, gaps and weaknesses.” Earlier this month, several non-governmental organizations urged the EC to not delay the publication of this fitness check’s results any further (FPF reported). Summarized by Clelia Oziel in an article published on June 27, 2019 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, this publication “concludes three years of work focusing on more than 40 pieces of chemicals legislation,” including “CLP; biocidal products; chemical agents and carcinogens and mutagens in the workplace; toys; cosmetics; and detergents.”
A press release by the EC’s DG-Internal market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs said that the new report “confirms that the rules in place provide a high level of protection against harmful chemicals for our citizens and the environment and that they contribute to an efficient functioning of the single market.” Several weaknesses identified include “the need for the simplification and streamlining of hazard and risk assessment processes, providing better consumer information, and supporting implementation of the legislation by the EU countries.”
The results of this report, along with a complementing review of REACH published in March 2018 (FPF reported), are now being discussed at the “high-level conference on ‘EU Chemicals Policy 2030,’” taking place in Brussels, Belgium on June 27-28, 2019. Ahead of the report’s release, on June 24, 2019, the EC and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) launched a new action plan envisaging “a significant increase in the number of compliance checks carried out on [REACH] registration dossiers” (FPF reported).
In a press release published on June 26, 2019, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) expressed agreement with “the conclusion of the fitness check that the EU is the frontrunner in chemicals legislation worldwide” and confirmed that the EU chemical industry is “ready to work with the EU authorities to improve the implementation of the chemicals legislation and address the weaknesses, where needed.” Cefic’s own ‘action plan’ focused on improving REACH compliance was presented a day before (FPF reported).
EC (June 25, 2019). “Chemicals: European Commission and ECHA to scrutinize all REACH registrations by 2027.”
EC (May 24, 2019). “EU Chemicals Policy 2030. Building on the past, moving to the future.”
Clelia Oziel (June 27, 2019). “Fitness check finds flaws in EU-wide chemical data assessment.” Chemical Watch
EC (June 25, 2019). “Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Findings of the Fitness Check of the most relevant chemicals legislation (excluding REACH) and identified challenges, gaps and weaknesses.” COM(2019) 264 final (pdf)