Reach November deadline remains ‘challenging’ – German chems

09 March 2010 19:29  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Germany’s chemical industry is finding it challenging to meet the 30 November Reach registration deadline, the country's chemical trade group VCI said on Tuesday.

The timeline had become extremely tight while producers, distributors and importers were struggling for help in implementing the Reach regulation’s complex requirements, the Frankfurt-based group said.

At the same time, companies were also working hard to implement by December new rules under the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) that changed the criteria for classifying and labelling chemicals.

“Companies are working all out to meet both sets of regulations but the ‘time windows’ are too tight,” said Gerd Romanowski, head of VCI’s science, technology and environment portfolio.

Lawmakers and authorities had underestimated the time required for the Reach registration procedure, he said.

Romanowski called on the EU Commission, the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki and industry to act quickly to identify and remove bureaucratic obstacles and red tape that were delaying procedures.

Reach challenged all chemical firms, whether small or large, because of its high level of complexity and the volume of documentation required, VCI said.

ECHA’s instructions to companies for setting up a registration dossier came to about 3,000 pages alone, requiring producers, distributors and importers to seek intensive expert consultation, the group added.

VCI was now running information sessions that had to take place in the largest congress hall of the Frankfurt fair to accommodate interested participants, it said.

If firms producing or importing chemical substances at a volume of over 1,000 tonnes/year fail to supply the extensive registration data to ECHA in time for the 30 November deadline, they could face prohibitions on production or imports, VCI said.

The group’s concerns echo recent reports doubting the ability of chemical firms to meet the deadline.

VCI, for its part, is also offering an online portal - - to help firms with Reach. The group represents 1,650 chemical companies that employed about 435,000 workers last year.

Visit the Reach Group pages on ICIS connect

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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