01 June 2007 11:54 [Source: ICIS news]
PARIS (ICIS news)--The European Chemical Chemicals Agency (ECHA) opened its doors for the first time on Friday as Reach entered into force, said the European Commission.
The Helsinki-based ECHA will manage Reach (the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restrictions of chemicals), the new European Union (EU) chemicals legislation, under the leadership of interim executive director Geert Dancet.
“The chemicals agency will play a key role in the effective implementation of Reach, helping to deliver improved health, and environmental conditions while at the same time maintaining competitiveness and encouraging innovation,” said EU enterprise commissioner Günter Verheugen.
His colleague, environment commissioner Stavros Dimas, claimed that "with the entry into force of Reach, the EU is providing itself with the most progressive chemicals legislation in the world.”
“Properly setting up the European Chemicals Agency is now the next big step to make sure that Reach will work in practice,” he added.
Chemical companies wanting to know more about the new requirements, in particular how to pre-register their products, are advised by the Commission to access the agency’s website.
The agency's budget for 2007 is €15m ($20m) and this is expected to increase over the next 15 years to be worth on average €90m annually.
The budget will be largely financed from the fees paid by industry and the remaining balance will be covered by the EU budget.
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