05 July 2005 18:44 [Source: ICIS news]
BRUSSELS (CNI)--A key European Commission (EC) official on Tuesday brushed aside suggestions that the Commission would raise volume thresholds for Reach registration from one to 100 tonne as has been reported recently in various media.
Geert Dancet, head of the Reach unit in the European Commission's Enterprise and Industry Directorate, denied categorically that his directorate has any intention to alter Reach volume thresholds.
Reach (registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals), the European Union’s proposed new chemicals policy, is currently working its way through the legislative process.
"Reach will come in at the one tonne level," Dancet confirmed at a meeting in Brussels held to announce the results of the strategic partnership on Reach testing (Sport) study into the proposed legislation's workability. However, he said that Enterprise and Industry Commissioner Gunter Verheugen had taken note of recent impact assessment reports which had indicated that smaller companies operating in low volume bands will be more vulnerable in the registration process. He indicated that the Commission would investigate ways to make Reach proposals more workable.
Dancet also confirmed that the Commission no longer intends to take on the functions of the proposed chemical agency, through the European Chemical Bureau (ECB), in the interim period before the new chemicals agency is established in Helsinki.
"You cannot start from the ECB and prepare for Reach and implement Reach at the same time," he said. "We want to start directly with the agency in Helsinki," he declared.
The Commission is preparing a series of guidance documents for Reach implementation which Dancet said would be made as simple as possible. It is also developing entirely new software for the industry, which will allow companies to register and forward information to the chemicals agency on-line. The new chemicals agency will also be able to disseminate information to industry on-line.
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