The ECHA Forum’s second enforcement project (REF-2) focused on checking the compliance of downstream users – particularly formulators of mixtures – with the essential requirements of the REACH and CLP regulations. It was carried out in 29 Member States of European Economic Area (EEA) countries from May 2011 until March 2012. The national enforcement authorities inspected 1,181 enterprises covering 6,900 substances, 4,500 mixutres, and 4,500 safety data sheets (SDSs).
In total, 67 % of the inspected companies were non-compliant with one or more provisions of REACH or CLP. Non-compliance was most commonly related to contraventions of (pre-)registration (REACH, 8 %), notification (CLP, 15 %), failure to keep information (20 %) and having deficient risk management measures (12 %).
Only 3 % of companies failed to have the SDSs on site. However, 52 % of the inspected SDSs showed deficiencies. Despite the high rate of defective SDSs, inspectors noticed an improvement in the formats used and availability of SDSs in comparison to earlier inspections.
Recommendations include that industry should focus on further knowledge-building within companies concerning REACH and CLP. Awareness and knowledge on REACH among smaller downstream user companies is sometimes very low or even non-existent. This is a matter of concern and should be monitored. The ECHA website is a very useful source of information for companies who want to gain deeper knowledge of the REACH and CLP regulations. Companies can also clarify whether they have any obligations under the regulation by consulting their national helpdesks or the competent authorities.
- European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), Helsinki, Finland