On March 5, 2018, the European Commission (EC) published its second review report on the European Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). The EC’s review highlighted that because of REACH “EU companies and authorities are ensuring the safe use of chemicals and the phase-out of dangerous substances.” In particular, REACH leads to “safer products for consumers, workers and the environment” by prohibition harmful chemicals and substituting substances of very high concern (SVHCs) with safer alternatives. Also, REACH promotes non-animal testing methods for the hazard assessment of chemicals. The REACH registration procedure has collected information on “the main chemicals manufactured and used in the EU” and has thus enhanced communication and transparency in the supply chain, the EC noted.
The EC also proposed measures to further improve the implementation of REACH. These specifically target the quality of substance registration dossiers and the overall authorization process. The coherence of REACH with worker protection and waste legislation should also be improved. A public conference is planned for June 2018 to “discuss the outcomes and follow-up actions of the second REACH review with the European Parliament, Member States and stakeholders.”
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), who manages the implementation of REACH, was pleased with the EC’s second REACH review. Regarding the “high rate of non-compliance of registration dossiers” addressed by the EC, ECHA explained that it “has already taken a variety of measures to improve the level of compliance of dossiers and will further develop remedies and enhance the efficiency of evaluation processes” (FPF reported).
The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) agreed with “the Commission’s conclusion that there is no need for any drastic changes to the regulation to achieve its goals.” Further, Cefic endorsed the EC’s recommendations to align REACH with the EU Industrial Policy Strategy and Circular Economy Action Plan, simplify the authorization process, and assess possible restrictions on imported articles that contain substances subject to authorization. Cefic will therefore “continue collaborating with the Commission and ECHA on implementing these recommendations.”
EC (March 5, 2018). “Ten years of REACH: Making chemicals safer for consumers, workers and the environment.”
ECHA (March 5, 2018). “ECHA welcomes the REACH review outcome.”
Cefic (March 7, 2018). “Cefic statement on the publication of the REACH review.”
Anton Lazarus (March 6, 2018). “Precautionary in principle, flawed in fact: European Commission review accepts environmental groups’ criticism of chemical regulation.” European Environmental Bureau
Luke Buxton (March 6, 2018). “EU publishes long-delayed second REACH review.” Chemical Watch
Clelia Oziel (March 7, 2018). “REACH review actions ‘not enough’ for SMEs – trade body.” Chemical Watch
NIA (March 21, 2018). “NIA summary report on the 2018 EC REACH review.”
Andrew Warmington (April 2018). “Something for everyone?” Chemical Watch