Under REACH, to ensure animal testing is minimised, firms importing or making chemicals must develop a single registration dossier for each pre-registered substance. The dossier must contain all the information needed to determine risk management procedures and labelling and classification requirements. It is through SIEFs that dossier development must be carried out. About 150,000 chemicals have been pre-registered although ECHA is still developing a final list.
According to ECHA’s data nearly two thirds of the SIEFs contain fewer than ten members. But 140 SIEFs contain more than 1,000 members, two of which have over 5,000 members (see table). Data-sharing and agreeing contractual arrangements will be a challenge for these large SIEFs.
The first registration deadline for 30 November 2010 is for: (i) substances made or imported in amounts over 1,000 tonnes per year, (ii) for carcinogens, mutagens and reproductive toxicants, and (iii) substances toxic to aquatic life made in amounts over 100 tonnes per year.
In January, firms trying to access SIEF information on ECHA’s IT portal, REACH-IT, experienced similar problems to those plaguing the system during pre-registration last year. Firms found the system slow, were unable to see details of the other pre-SIEF members and were at times denied access.
ECHA said this was due to the large numbers trying to access the system and it hoped to resolve the problems in February.