UK manufacturing fears 'discontinuity risk' of Reach rules

12 October 2010 17:53  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Downstream users of chemicals in the UK are seeking wider support from a range of industries across Europe for clarification on the implications of the EU’s Reach chemicals policy, the manufacturer's trade group EEF said on Tuesday.

The downstream industries feel exposed to possible “discontinuity risk” if some chemicals vital to manufacturing are no longer available in the EU after the first Reach registration deadline of 30 November 2010, the EEF said

Prices of some materials are rising as manufacturers stockpile articles containing chemicals that might be affected by the Reach regulation, the EEF and other trade groups said in a letter to UK government departments last month.

Their anxieties over Reach the registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals regulation have been expressed in a letter from the UK’s business and environment departments to the European Commission.

The trade groups are seeking clarification from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) that a 12-month period of grace might be granted if some chemicals are not registered in the EU and that suppliers as a consequence withdraw from the market.

They would need that time to secure alternative suppliers that might register the substance for sale in Europe.

“Clearly Reach is not working in that communication is not working,” said an EEF spokesman.

“We want Reach to work,” he added. “But this issue has huge consequences.”

The EEF and other trade groups representing industries that include engineering, glass and paper want to see the issue raised more visibly across Europe.

Various schemes have been established to help chemical manufacturers meet Reach requirements and complete their Reach registrations, but the EEF believes that only now are the EU authorities looking to help downstream users.

The 30 November Reach registration deadline applies to substances sold in the EU in volumes greater than 1,000 tonnes/year and to toxic substances of very high concern (SHVCs).

After 1 December, the “no data, no market” rule applies, which means that chemicals that are not registered will not be availabe for sale in the EU.

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By: Nigel Davis
+44 20 8652 3214

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