By the end of May, all substances with production and import volumes of 100 to 1000 tons per year must be registered at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki, Finland.
Dr. Gerd Romanowski, VCI Director for Science, Technology and Environment, thinks that the workload for the companies and the time pressure in the second registration phase of REACH was enormous especially for medium-sized companies. “In the joint submission of substance data, again German companies have taken a leadership role, as almost one in four registration dossier comes from Germany, so far.” Since the beginning of the REACH implementation, more than 32,000 registrations for nearly 6,500 different substances from all over Europe were submitted. Of these, over 8,000 registrations for more than 3,500 different substances came from Germany.
However, companies now must quickly start working for the registrations of the third phase. By 31 May 2018 specialty chemicals and cost-sensitive materials with annual production and import volumes from 1 to 100 tons have to be registered. Romanowski warns that in this phase of REACH medium-sized companies are particularly strongly affected and the registration costs for chemicals with low production volumes are in relation to the relevant turnover relatively high.” At around 93 %, the vast majority of chemical companies in Germany are medium-sized companies.
For the further implementation of REACH, the VCI CEO calls for more support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). “SMEs require a direct contact within the ECHA. Also, submission of data has to be simplified and tailored to the smaller amount of information.”
Several studies commissioned by the European Commission have shown that the Safety Data Sheets are too extensive and too hard to understand for both those who have to create it and those who have to use it.”The primary aim must be to simplify the procedure for the safety data sheet to make it manageable for SMEs,” the CEO of the VCI concludes.
- Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI; German chemical industry association), Frankfurt, Germany
Also of interest:
- REACH – An Overview,
ChemViews Magazine 2012.
- Close to 2nd REACH Deadline – Interview with Christel Musset,
ChemViews Magazine 2013.
Director of Registration at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) talks about the benefits and challenges of REACH