06 July 2006 20:19 [Source: ICIS news]
MADRID (ICIS)--Small and midsize chemical enterprises likely will not be ready for the onset of the European Union’s chemical regulation laws, industry executives said on Thursday.
The pre-registration and registration phases of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (Reach) will be implemented in mid-2008.
Many smaller chemical companies are unaware of its impact, said Christian Grundling, with the Austrian Federation of the Chemical Industry. He said many do not belong to trade associations and are too busy to follow regulatory developments.
He said industry and governments should educate the companies and prepare them for the requirements. Grundling spoke to ICIS on the sidelines of the two-day Impact of the REACH Regulation on the Packaging Supply Chain conference, which closed today in ?xml:namespace>
Meanwhile, smaller chemical firms should seek legal and technical help to prepare.
The EU is expected to help mid and small sized chems - which account for 20% of industry revenues - adjust with help desks and other services, Grundling said.
Roger Van der Linden, Reach coordinator for plastics-maker Borealis, said questioned if the smaller companies will be ready for the pre-registration phase. However, large players like Borealis are prepared, he said.
Cyril Jacquet, an attorney working with companies adopting Reach, said he expects many of the smaller will rush to learn and implement Reach in coming months.
Grundling, however, predicted that even if they try to meet the deadlines, join trade associations and use government help desks, half of them will find the Reach bureaucracy too burdensome.
Still, he predicted the EU would offer time extensions for laggards. “They are not going to let the whole industry shut down,” he said.
Serge Simon, with Total Petrochemicals, said many smaller firms may manage to be ready because bigger players will lend a hand to ensure the supply chain remains unaffected.
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