MEPs give full backing to Reach

13 December 2006 11:37  [Source: ICIS news]

MEPs vote in favour of Reach EU legislationBRUSSELS (ICIS news)--Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted overwhelmingly in favour of implementing the EU Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (Reach) legislation on Wednesday.

Five hundred and twenty-nine MEPs voted for the compromise text agreed at the beginning of December between the parliament, Europe's Council of Ministers and the Finnish presidency, while 98 voted against and 24 abstained.

The vote during a full plenary session in the European Parliament paves the way for the legislation to be in place by 1 June 2007.

"I am confident [this compromise] will provide good results for the safety of European citizens and the competitiveness of Europe," said rapporteur Guido Sacconi.  

Reach will require around 30,000 chemicals, produced or imported into the EU, to be registered with a central, Helsinki-based agency.

The compromise agreed that substances of high concern will be authorised if manufacturers agree to develop substitution plans and where alternatives do not exist, they propose research and development that could lead to a substitute.

Endocrine disrupters can be used for at least another six years, when experts will decide whether safer alternatives have been developed, and whether the socio-economic benefits of using these substances are higher than the risk to human health or the environment.

Chemical manufacturers will have to agree to a duty of care clause stating that all chemical substances should, under reasonable foreseeable circumstances, not adversely affect human health or the environment.

By: Philippa Jones
+44 20 8652 3214

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