Reach watchdog to rescue companies let down by lead registrants

26 November 2010 17:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) plans to rescue registrants who are let down by companies taking the lead in their Reach registration product group, the agency’s executive director said on Friday.

As the 30 November Reach registration deadline approaches, the agency has decided to put systems in place to allow companies which are failed by the lead registrants in their product groups - known as Substance Information Exchange Forums (SIEFs) - to continue to operate legally despite a failure to register.

“We are planning to issue an alert to SIEF members who are waiting for their lead registrant, Geert Dancet said. “People can say they’re ready and waiting but can’t register as the lead has not passed on [the correct information].”

ECHA executive director Dancet said people who are uncertain that the lead will submit in time should document this and apply for an exemption.

“This says they no longer trust the lead to submit in time. We can then help them to register. We have had 40 companies do this so far. If they use this system they can prove they were ready to register and it was not their fault.”

Dancet said a separate system was being developed for those who have confidence in the lead registrant but want to cover themselves in case something goes wrong.

“If they’re confident the lead can do it - that he is trying to pass the rules - there is another route. They should take a snapshot of their computer screen to show they were waiting. The screenshot should show the date and time.”

Lead registrants are responsible for supplying the full Reach registration document to the ECHA by 30 November. This dossier contains all test data and documents required by the ECHA.

Once this has been accepted, a registration number is issued by the ECHA which is used by all the other SIEF members on their registration documents.

Companies which fail to register by the deadline and continue to produce or market un-registered chemicals in the EU will be operating illegally and face prosecution and heavy fines.

To date, 16,209 substance dossiers have been registered and there are 22,000 in the system in total.

Dancet said he expects around 25,000 registrations by the 30 November deadline with around 3,000 substances registered.

Although this is lower than earlier estimates, Dancet said he was not concerned because industry representatives have told him a number of SIEFs had merged.

Some manufacturers have also chosen to register under the 2013 deadline - which is for substances sold in volumes of less than 100 tonnes/year - instead of in this year’s 1,000 tonnes/year band.

Dancet said he does not believe Reach is a barrier to international trade.

“Around 20% of registrations are from ‘Only Representatives’ from exporting companies. Reach is working for them,” he said. Reach ‘only representatives’ work for non-EU chemicals suppliers in the Reach process.

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By: Will Beacham
+44 20 8652 3214

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