REACH: Parliament adopts chemicals law

14 December 2006

Yesterday, the European Parliament agreed to a compromise deal on the REACH regulation, marking the start of a comprehensive system for the registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals.

REACH will replace around 40 legislative texts with a single system regulated by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) based in Helsinki, which will be responsible for the registration and authorisation process.

The legislation is now expected to enter force on 1st June 2007 when it will be applied in all EU member states.

The main issues of interest of the compromise between European Parliament and Council are as follows:

Deadline for Registration of substances above 1000 tpa and CMR (cancerogenic, mutagenic, toxic for reproduction) of Category 1 and 2, the Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxic (PBT), etc , has been extended to 3,5 years instead of 3 years
Chemical Safety Report (CSR) is not required for substances belonging to the tonnage band between 1 and 10 tpa and this exemption will be revised after 7 years
The scope of REACH will be reviewed after 5 years and consequently, new exemptions could be included in the Regulation
Data protection is extended from 10 to 12 years
The Duty of care is now included and clarified in a recital
Chemicals of high concern will be required to submit a substitution plan when applying for authorisation if they identify alternatives that are safer and available at an economic cost. Authorisations will be granted if the use is adequately controlled.
Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxic (PBT) as well as very Persistent, very Bioaccumulative (vPvB) chemicals will not be authorised for use if suitable and safer alternatives exist.
The duration of authorisation will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis

For further information or comments feel free to contact:
Stefano Colicchia, tel +39-02-48479.223 fax +39-02-48479.405
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