SME size verification – reductions to the administrative charge
Following the decision of the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) Management Board, the scale of administrative charges has been revised downwards. Additionally, from now on companies that correctly rectify their company size after being contacted by ECHA can benefit from a 50 per cent reduction of the applicable administrative charge under certain conditions. The Commission Regulation on REACH fees and charges (EC) No 340/2008 provides for significant reductions in fees for companies qualifying for the EU definition of a micro, small or medium company. Companies declare their company size already when signing up in REACH-IT and re-confirm their size again when submitting a registration. Article 13(4) of that Regulation empowers ECHA to invoice registrants, which cannot demonstrate to be entitled to the reduced fee corresponding to the self-declared SME category, the balance of the correct fee as well as an administrative charge. In line with its previous communications, ECHA encourages companies to make sure that they have declared the correct size category so as to avoid having to pay the administrative charge. In accordance with the ECHA Management Board Decision (MB/21/2012/D), which entered into force on 12 February 2013 following the favourable opinion from the European Commission, companies that have wrongly declared their size category may benefit from a 50 per cent reduction of the applicable administrative charge provided that the registrant declares the correct company size, following the instructions specified in the initial request for documents sent by ECHA and by the response deadline set in that letter. In addition, the amendment to the ECHA Management Board Decision introduced a revised scale for the administrative charges. The new scale of administrative charges is presented in the following table: Size of a company Administrative charge (EUR) Large (non-SME) 19 900 Medium 13 900 Small 7 960 Furthermore, registrants are reminded that the administrative charge will not be levied if they on their own initiative inform ECHA by filling in the ECHA Helpdesk contact form about the incorrect declaration of the company size category prior to the receipt of the ECHA’s request letter for documenting their declared company size. Finally, ECHA reserves the right to revoke registration numbers from registrants that are at the end of the process of verification of the company size unwilling to pay the fee balance.