29 June 2005 15:16 [Source: ICIS news]
Speaking here at an IIR Lifesciences conference, Hackitt admitted that there was a “huge amount” of work to be done to prepare for Reach. The industry has to recognise that a start has to made, she indicated.
The true workability of the Reach system has yet to be determined, she admitted, and there are many concerns yet to be resolved.
It is still “hugely important to get the details right”, she said. She noted, however, that while Reach is a major threat to chemicals producers, it could create some significant opportunities.
Industry can “collaborate and cooperate on data sharing wherever and whenever possible”, Hackitt said, to help minimise the legislative load.
The CIA had committed to produce a chemicals database, she added. Currently data for this are being collected.
The industry is also establishing a Reach support centre designed especially to support SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to help them cope with the expected Reach burden.
Policy makers and others, however, have to closely assess working arrangements and the new processes required at the level of the proposed central chemicals agency and the European Union (EU) member states’ competent authorities.
A “step-change” in the processes in place in some competent authority is needed, she said.
Hackitt suggested that Reach should be policed by sampling or audit, and not by detailed assessment of each product dossier. She indicated that the chemicals industry was seeking an agreement in principle to a five-year review of Reach progress.
Reach has the “potential” to simplify regulation for chemicals makers and deliver significant benefits to downstream industries, consumers and the environment, she maintained.
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