Chemicals: Commission seeks views on revision of REACH, the EU’s chemicals legislation

2021-01-20

Today, the Commission is launching a public consultation on the revision of the Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACHSearch for available translations of the preceding link•••). The revision will aim to align the EU chemical rules with the Commission’s ambition for safe and sustainable chemicals and a high level of protection of health and the environment, while preserving the internal market. The planned REACH revision is one of the actions announced in the Chemicals Strategy for SustainabilitySearch for available translations of the preceding link•••.

Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said:

Europe already plays a leading role in safe and sustainable chemicals. Our chemicals policy aims to accelerate this transition for the benefit of our citizens and the environment, while continuing to enable innovation by the chemicals industry. I count on industry, civil society, academia, and public authorities to help us identify the solutions that can support these efforts.

Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevi?ius, said

We have come a long way regulating chemicals in the EU. But the ambition of our European Green Deal is that we all live in a truly toxic-free environment. We cannot afford to expose our health and our nature to harmful chemicals. The revision of REACH will deliver on this ambition.

The Commission invites citizens and interested parties to express views on the following elements:

revision of the registration requirements, including increasing information requirements and establishing the obligation to register polymers (the building blocks of plastics);

introduction of mixtures assessment factors;

simplification of communication in the supply chains;

revision of the provisions for dossier and substance evaluation;

reform of the authorisation and restriction processes, including the extension of generic approaches to risk management and the introduction of the essential use concept; and

the revision of the provisions for control and enforcement.

The public consultation will provide insight for the ongoing work on an impact assessment. The consultation will run until mid-April 2022 and is available here. Today’s publication is in English only. The translations in all the other languages of the EU will follow by mid-February. 

Background

Chemicals are essential for the well-being, high living standards and comfort of modern society. They are used in many sectors, including health, energy, mobility and housing. However, most chemicals have hazardous properties which can harm the environment and human health.

The EU already has sophisticated chemicals laws in place. REACHSearch for available translations of the preceding link••• has generated the most advanced knowledge base on chemicals in the world and set up scientific bodies to carry out the risk and hazard assessments of chemicals. The EU has also managed to reduce the risks to people and the environment for certain hazardous chemicals like carcinogens.

REACH aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment, to preserve the functioning of the internal market as well as to enhance innovation and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry. This is done by the four processes of REACH, namely the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals.

The European Commission published the Chemicals Strategy for SustainabilitySearch for available translations of the preceding link••• on 14 October 2020. It is part of the EU’s zero pollution ambition, which is a key commitment of the European Green Deal. It aims to better protect citizens and the environment and boost innovation for safe and sustainable chemicals through its 85 planned actions.

 

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European Commission, 20 January 2022
; https://ec.europa.eu/environment/news/chemicals-commission-seeks-views-revision-reach-eus-chemicals-legislation-2022-01-20_en