ECHA and Cefic interviews should reveal Reach sentiment

Ahead of the impending 30 November deadline for Europe’s Reach regulation I have lined up interviews with the European Chemicals Agency’s executive director, Geert Dancet, plus industry trade body Cefic’s Reach expert Erwin Annys. 

Europe’s chemical industry has been rushing towards this deadline because failure to comply will mean producers or exporters are doing business illegally. There have been all sorts of problems in the run up including the prospect that supply chains could be broken if key raw materials become unavailable. 

I will be asking Cefic and ECHA about their experiences so far. The disastrous IT issues during the preregistration phase do not seem to have been repeated. But how well is ECHA coping with the flood of applications at this stage? Is it resisting calls from industry to keep the names of registrants confidential on its website? 

And how satisfied are Cefic’s members with the costly registration process? The operation of the data-sharing Substance Information Exchange Forums (SIEFs) has also been fraught with danger. 

On 1 December we move to the next phase of Reach – evaluation. What is the timetable for this? How long before we see the first prosecution of an illegal producer/importer from a policing authority such as the UK’s Health and Safety Executive?

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