06 December 2006 12:54 [Source: ICIS news]
BRUSSELS (ICIS news)--European legislators should have taken a more risk-based approach to Reach to avoid compromising the European chemical industry's competitiveness, according to Philippe de Buck, secretary general of UNICE, the Confederation of European Businesses.?xml:namespace>
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He criticised the decision to require the submission of a substitution plan for all substances where a suitable alternative exists, even if these substances are, according to industry, already adequately controlled.
"If the risk management is okay, authorisation should be granted," agreed Alain Perroy, director general of CEFIC, the European Chemical Industry Council.
"If we stick to the criteria of adequate risk control then substitution is not needed," he said.
Perroy called substitution a totally unnecessary bureaucratic requirement that would hinder innovation and competitiveness in the EU.
He added that companies would be granted product authorisation with a "but", and investors might therefore start to look outside
Both men emphasised that substitution was difficult and time-consuming. They said safer and better alternatives were not necessarily the best option in terms of safety, usability or environmental protection.
The compromise proposal had also added costs to the implementation of Reach, said Perroy, though he refused to name a figure.
UNICE, however, welcomed the news that companies would not have to introduce a Chemical Safety Report to register substances below 10 tonnes, and said it was pleased that a data protection clause was included the final compromise.
The Reach bill will be put before a full European Parliament hearing at the plenary session on December 13 but is considered by most in
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