04 September 2013 11:32 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--An investigation by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) into the compliance of downstream European chemicals users with Reach and related regulations has found that 67% of the companies inspected failed to meet at least one set of key criteria, the authority said on Wednesday.
The investigation saw national enforcement authorities from 29 European Economic Area (EEA) member states inspect 1,181 companies or individuals who use a chemical substance on its own or in a mixture as part of their industrial processes. Companies or individuals using one or more chemicals in the formulation of mixtures made up 79% of those investigated.
Over two thirds of the companies inspected had failed to comply with at least one provision of Reach or the classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) legislation dictating the clear communication of the hazards of particular chemicals to employees and consumers, ECHA said.
Key non-compliance issues included contraventions of Reach pre-registrations, which occurred in 8% of offenders, and CLP notification issues, which affected 15% of investigated companies.
Twenty per cent of companies failed to retain information they were required to, and 12% were deemed to have deficient risk management measures. Nearly all companies had safety data sheets (SDS) on-site, but over half of the safety documentation inspected showed deficiencies, ECHA said.
“It is clear that the quality of the SDS and compliance with the notification and registration obligations need to improve. Given the complexity of the new chemicals legislations, industry needs to undergo a learning phase,” ECHA said in a statement.
Of the companies inspected, 40% were distributors, 18% were manufacturers, and 16% were importers, and 74% were identified as having the manufacture of chemicals and chemical products as their primary business sector. Over half of the companies in the study hold multiple roles.
The full REF-2 report can be read here.
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