Saturday, October 25, 2014

EU Governments Raise Concern About Impact Of REACH on Small, Medium-Size Companies

By Stephen Gardner

BRUSSELS—A number of EU governments used a meeting of the bloc’s competitiveness and industry ministers Dec. 5 to call for revisions to the REACH chemical legislation, saying it imposes too high a cost on small and medium-sized companies.

Martin Kuba, the trade and industry minister from the Czech Republic, in a statement also backed by Slovakia, said that “REACH imposes [an] excessive administrative and financial burden especially on SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises], and might threaten the very existence of many companies.”

The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, should “assess the real contribution of this legislation and focus on its impacts on the European economy,” Kuba said.

The Commission is due to publish a review of REACH (Regulation No. 1907/2006 on the registration, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals) in 2012, but has so far said the review is unlikely to result in major legislative changes (34 INER 890, 9/28/11).

Under REACH, manufacturers or importers of chemicals are required to file extensive registration dossiers with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), according to a series of deadlines staggered through 2018…

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