InterviewEurope on track with Reach SIEF creation – ECHA chief

11 September 2009 15:25  [Source: ICIS news]

BRUSSELS (ICIS news)--The creation of Substance Information Exchange Forums (SIEFs), the industry-led data-gathering mechanisms within the EU’s Reach chemicals control scheme, is progressing well, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) said on Friday.

“We should have all the SIEFs in operation by the end of this year,” ECHA executive director Geert Dancet said.

“We are still on track, I believe,” he told ICIS news on the sidelines of an EU-sponsored conference in Brussels on SIEF operation.

Chemicals suppliers and others deeply involved with Reach – the EU’s registration, evaluation and authorisation system for chemicals - will use SIEFs to exchange substance health and safety data prior to registration.

Some SIEFs are huge, with many hundreds of members, while others are small. The refining industry, for example, is cooperating in the creation of ‘super-SIEFS’ in 20 substance categories to enable the creation of a common data set to help companies with the registration of more than 300 substances.

The chemicals agency would take stock at the end of this year on SIEF operations, Dancet said, but the ECHA executive director was encouraged by the turnout at the Brussels meeting, held for lead registrants within the SIEFs.

SIEFs had to be operated in a consistent way by the industry, he said, with common standards and legal contracts to help potential registrants complete the process.

Some 1,500 SIEFs had been created, Dancet said. However, that would have to increase to more than 4,000 if the number of substances registered in the first phase of Reach was to achieve the level expected.

The agency believes that 25,000-plus substance dossiers will be submitted, although estimates of the total vary considerably. The deadline for the registration of high-tonnage substances under Reach is 1 December 2010.

SIEF formation was progressing at a fast pace but was not yet up to speed, Dancet said.

“We want lead registrants to register over the summer next year,” he added.

The ECHA would be able to turn round substance registration dossiers within three weeks if they were submitted before 1 October 2010, Dancet said. After that date, there would be no guarantee that the dossiers would be handled within three months or before the registration deadline.

If a substance requiring registration is not registered under Reach by the deadline it will be disqualified from sale on the EU market.

Listen to the interview with Geert Dancet

To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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