ICIS Reach forum helps industry deal with chemicals legislation

Forum kicks off

19 January 2010 18:30  [Source: ICB]

The new ICIS site will help you navigate the treacherous waters of Reach compliance

WELCOME TO the first of our monthly ICIS Chemical Business Reach pages. We have created a free access ICIS Reach forum to connect anyone in the industry concerned with Europe's chemical regulation and help them make sense of it. Once registered, you'll be able to download resources, read discussions, post questions and respond to comments. The forum is already attracting a lot of interest from industry, consultants and commentators.

This year is crucial for the chemical industry and supply chain as it battles to comply with the December 1, 2010 deadline for the submission of dossiers on substances to be registered. This deadline applies to chemicals produced or imported in volumes of 1,000 tonnes/year or more. Producers or importers of chemicals on the substances of very high concern (SVHC) list will also need to comply.

There has been talk of a "panic wave" later this year as those who are less prepared rush to register by December.

As part of our improved Reach service, ICIS is also collaborating with Reach service provider REACHReady, who can help you navigate through the legislation.

Here is a recent discussion under the thread "Reach compliance now a selling point for consumer goods."

Chemical Bill: Could you clarify something I'm unclear on, Chris? What exactly is the retailer's responsibility under Reach? As far as I understand, it is the manufacturers that will be liable if they produce a product containing non-Reach compliant substances. What happens if a retailer imports and sells non-compliant products and gets caught?

Chris Eacott: The main thing is to be clear in one's mind about "who is responsible for what."

There are two main categories of players that have to fulfill registration requirements. Firstly, EU-based manufacturers and importers of substances (including in preparations, and a small number of articles). They must be EU-based.

Secondly, non-EU manufacturers are dependent on EU-based legal entities for registration. These entities could include a company subsidiary, an importer (could be a distributor) or an OR (Only Representative) - or a mix of these.

A retailer is a special type of distributor under Reach with, as we know, certain special responsibilities, including responding to consumer enquiries about Substances of Very High Concern, notification in some cases, and the like.

Where branded products (for the most part, we're talking about preparations such as household cleaning products) from EU suppliers are concerned, a retailer would normally expect the branded product manufacturer to fulfill all Reach registration obligations, usually by working with upstream suppliers. A retailer would be very unhappy to have to do any registration-related work in these circumstances.

The situation could be very different when it comes to own-brand products. If the own-brand product (again, usually a preparation) is EU-sourced, then again, the retailer would definitely expect the EU manufacturer to address Reach registration issues.

However, many large retailers source their own-brand products direct from non-EU countries, especially the Asia Pacific region. What they've found is that Asia-Pacific manufacturers of products destined for retailer shelves have little understanding of Reach, and simply don't want to get involved in compliance work.

It has fallen to the retailers to at least undertake preregistration of the substances. They are acting as importers, with potentially full registration responsibilities.

ECHA adds 14 substances to EU's "chemicals of concern" list

January 13, 2010

Fourteen chemicals have been added to the EU's candidate list of substances of very high concern (SVHC) and could be due for authorization under Reach, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has said.

"Companies manufacturing or importing these substances need to check their potential obligations that result from the listing," the agency said in a statement.

Companies may have legal obligations when substances are included on the list that can apply to the substances themselves or mixtures or articles sold in the EU containing them, it added.

There are more than 30 substances now on the candidate list.

ECHA publishes first chemical-use information under Reach, December 18, 2009

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has begun publishing on its website chemical-substance hazard and safe-use information submitted under Reach, the Finland-based agency has said.

The ECHA said the freely available information included substances that are manufactured in or imported into the EU. The information includes the substances' hazardous properties, their classification and labeling, and notes on how to use them safely.

The agency added that by making access to information on chemicals public, it had started to implement a central element of the EU's Reach regulation.

"Over time, this growing database will permit citizens to make well-informed decisions about the use of chemicals or articles containing chemicals they purchase," the ECHA said.

Check out the ICIS Reach forum

By: Will Beacham
+44 20 8652 3214

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