Registration, evaluation and authorisation discussed at ECHA’s Stakeholders’ Day

The European Chemical Agency’s seventh Stakeholders’ Day took place last week in Helsinki. The day focused on three areas: preparations for the next registration deadline on 31 May 2013, feedback from evaluation of the registration dossiers submitted in 2010 and applications for authorisation. You can follow the event online. During the Stakeholders’ Day, ECHA draw the attention of registrants to the timely preparation and quality of their REACH registration dossiers. The next registration deadline for substances produced or imported in the EU in quantities at or above 100 tonnes per year is 31 May 2013. Based on the experience of evaluating the registrations from the 2010 deadline, ECHA urges all registrants to step up their dossier preparation efforts now and to pay special attention to the quality of their dossiers. “REACH aspires to protect people and the environment and at this year’s Stakeholders’ Day, we are really getting to grips with the core of this aim: helping companies to provide quality data on their chemicals so that they can be used safely; and beginning the authorisation process to limit and ultimately phase out the most hazardous chemicals in Europe today” says Geert Dancet, ECHA’s Executive Director, in his opening words of the Stakeholders’ Day. During the event, ECHA informed industry about its new compliance check strategy which complements its current evaluation activities. The new strategy aims to systematically target dossier elements that are immediately relevant for the safe use of the substance. Rather than evaluating the full dossier content at once, a part of the compliance checks will be addressing for example targeted endpoints which are related to the Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) or Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Toxic to reproduction (CMR) status of a substance. Using IT-tools ECHA will start checking those parts of registration dossiers which have been identified based on this concern-driven approach. As a consequence, registrants who have submitted non-compliant dossiers may receive multiple decisions from ECHA for a single dossier. In addition to these targeted compliance checks, a significant part of the overall compliance checks will still be addressing the full dossier content in order to assess the overall compliance of the dossier and its safety assessments. In addition, ECHA introduced the substance evaluation process that started in March 2012 and describe how it is functionally interlinked with other evaluation and regulatory risk management processes. ECHA also highlighted an example chemical safety report (CSR) that it has developed to support companies in complying with their obligations under REACH. The example gives tips for developing a good quality CSR and advice on how to avoid common deficiencies that have been identified by ECHA. The final part of the Stakeholders’ Day focused on the challenges of applying for authorisation outlining the thinking process when possible applicants make their business decisions on whether to apply or not for authorisation. In addition, the session described how applicants and stakeholders can best contribute to the authorisation process. ECHA explained which parts of the applications will be made publicly available in order to support interested parties in providing pertinent information on the availability of alternative substances or technologies. These may be used to substitute the substances of very high concern. ECHA will also inform how it will disseminate the opinions of the scientific committees. Around 350 people from the EU and several non-EU countries joined ECHA’s Stakeholders’ Day. Chemical industries, various downstream industries, NGOs, consumer groups, environmental groups, health-based organisations, trade unions and animal welfare associations will be represented. There will also be 20 journalists following the event. The event was available online via web Stream.

European Chemicals Agency, 23 May 2012 ; ;