CEFIC Touts REACH as an Export Brand
Marco Mensink, director general of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), has called for the establishment of REACH as an export brand. Addressing delegates to the Helsinki Chemicals Forum this week, he suggested that Europe could develop a "smart REACH foreign policy" in which compliance with the chemicals legislation could be marketed globally.
At the forum, the CEFIC chief said Europe must make sure the world understands the regulation and that being compliant with it is well accepted. Spreading acceptance could ensure duplication costs are avoided and make markets more accessible, he said.
To make REACH a credible instrument of value to other countries, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) must make sure that it works as it should, Mensink said, adding that “ to avoid others undercutting our market, we have to reinforce the enforcement of REACH, making sure no substance enters Europe without being registered."
In his address to the meeting, ECHA’S executive director, Bjorn Hansen, said that although passing the last REACH registration deadline at the end of May reflected “an amazing effort,” the agency’s review of the legislation has highlighted areas where more work needed to be done.
Hansen said tools, such as safety data sheets could be made more usable and more directly applicable. He also identified a need for improved efficiencies, in particular through training and education. Foremostly, the director said problems with REACH compliance need to be identified earlier.
In presenting the agency’s Progress Report 2017 in March, Hansen announced that with the end of the registration period ECHA would step up its monitoring program to assure compliance, selecting at least 5% of the submitted dossiers for scrutiny.
ECHA and CEFIC have agreed to work together to solve scientific and technical challenges of the chemicals legislation. A joint statement to that effect was due to be signed on the forum’s final day, Jun. 15.