Reach authority rejects industry plea for hotline

27 May 2009 13:58  [Source: ICIS news]

HELSINKI (ICIS news)--A Reach information ‘hotline’ to help answer industry questions would be “too complicated” to set up, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) executive director Geert Dancet said on Wednesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ECHA’s Second Stakeholders’ Day in Helsinki, Finland, Dancet said: “There would be too many languages and it would be too complicated. Companies should contact their national association helpdesks for information.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Erwin Annys, director of Reach policy at Europe’s chemical trade association, Cefic, had said: “We need a hotline to help companies register for [Europe’s chemical regulation] Reach.

“Companies are finding it more and more difficult to register and they have more and more difficult questions. At present, answers are coming back late from ECHA and the answers are imprecise.”

Companies with queries about Reach had to e-mail ECHA’s helpdesk and wait, sometimes for several weeks, for an answer, according to delegates at the conference. Regional and national trade associations were also setting up helpdesks but these could not answer all complex queries, delegates said.

Dancet said that the ECHA was willing to have a dialogue with lead registrants for Substance Information Exchange Forums. These groups were being set up by industry to handle Reach registration applications for individual substances.

Many participants in Wednesday’s conference expressed frustration about the slow response of the ECHA in dealing with requests for information.

Reach is the EU’s regulatory scheme for chemicals.

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Will Beacham
+44 20 8652 3214

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