Germany chem group VCI welcomes European Commission's Reach review

06 February 2013 16:44  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s chemical industry trade group VCI on Wednesday welcomed the European Commission's review of the EU’s Reach chemical regulation.

VCI said that the review, and the Commission’s conclusion not to change Reach at this time, created legal certainty for chemical firms as they implement the regulation requiring them to register chemicals with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki.

“Chemical firms can continue to focus on implementing Reach, and they can build on the experience they have with Reach till now,” Gerd Romanowski, head of VCI’s science, technology and environmental portfolio, said in commenting on the Commission’s review of the law which came into force in June 2007.

VCI’s position contrasts with that of other commentators who had hoped the Commission would take the opportunity to make amendments to Reach to eliminate ambiguity, and to improve Reach’s effectiveness and efficiency.

Romanowski added that it would only be possible to fully assess Reach after the full registration process is completed in 2018.

Only then will there be sufficient data and knowledge to assess Reach’s impact on the European chemical industry’s competitiveness and its innovation potential, and in particular its impact on small- and medium-sized chemical firms, he said.

Reach’s registration requirements particularly burdened many of Germany’s small- and medium-sized chemical producers, as well as specialty chemicals firms, as their registration costs can be high, relative to their sales, Romanowski said.

Additional reporting by Nigel Davis and Tom Brown

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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