CEFIC Launches Action Plan on REACH Dossiers

03.07.2019 -

Amid criticism that the chemical industry is dragging its feet on REACH, the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) has kept a pledge made in June to help bring producers into compliance with the chemicals legislation.

Last week, the association launched an “action plan” that will run from 2019 to 2026, starting with a year of preparation. CEFIC said it will monitor its members’ progress in updating their dossiers and publish status reports on an annual basis.

The producers’ grouping stressed that the action plan is not static, but will be adapted to developments “when and if needed.”

Prior to the CEFIC announcement, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) the authority that administrates REACH, announced that it will start to evaluate 20 % of registration dossiers in each tonnage band to improve compliance.

ECHA said also that it plans to check around 30% of all registered chemicals to make sure their information is up to date. The goal is to screen all registration dossiers submitted by the 2018 deadline – up to 2023 for the over 100 t/y category and up to 2027 for substances in the 1-100 t/y volume range.

With their initiatives, both ECHA and CEFIC hope to disprove suggestions that chemical companies and authorities are out of step with their pledge to protect the environment. In May, the German Friends of the Earth affiliate, BUND, armed with documents obtained under the national freedom of information act, accused major chemical producers of not having product dossiers that were incomplete or out of date

More than 22,000 chemical substances have been registered in the EU since since REACH entered into force in 2008, making it the most comprehensive database of chemicals, their behaviour and use in the world, CEFIC noted.

Last year, ECHA’s incoming executive director, Björn Hansen, acknowledged there were information gaps in many dossiers, for the most part involving missing safety information.