07 August 2008 17:20 [Source: ICIS news]
By Anna Jagger
LONDON (ICIS news)--The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), responsible for assessing the safety of tens of thousands of chemicals, will next month report revenues estimates to the European Parliament in an effort to secure increased funding, its executive director said on Thursday.
“We are worried about whether or not we are going have sufficient funding,” Geert Dancet told ICIS news in a telephone interview.
In particular, ECHA is concerned that the revenues it receives from product registration fees from the EU’s Reach - registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals - scheme, will be lower than expected.
After attending a hearing at the Parliament last month, Dancet said he has been asked to provide by early next month a new estimate of the revenues the Agency expects to receive in 2009. Parliament, which is ECHA’s budgetary authority, is then expected to approve the 2009 subsidy in December, he said.
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For 2009, the European Commission has proposed a cut in ECHA’s subsidy by about €3m to €62m ($95m), said Dancet. The 2008 subsidy was of a similar order, €62.6m, he noted.
Dancet did not disclose how much funding ECHA would like to receive for 2009, explaining that the Agency has not yet concluded its 2009 revenues forecast.
But he did question the validity of estimates that ECHA will not require any subsidies in 2010-2012, and possibly also 2013, on the basis that the first deadline for the registration of substances would provide enough revenues for the Agency to become self-financing during that period.
This is more of a ‘guestimate’ than a precise prediction of revenues, said Dancet.
The revenues generated from fees will depend on how companies behave in the market, he added.
It is not known for a particular substance, for example, to what extent companies will prefer to safeguard their data and register the substance individually – generating higher fee revenues for ECHA – or club together and nominate one representative to register that substance.
Numerous chemical companies are joining Reach consortia to help streamline the Reach registration and data gathering process.
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