EU REACH Help-net swings into action

The European Commission has launched "REACH Help-Net" - an IT platform designed to make sure that companies get consistent, prompt and up-to-date advice on how to comply with the EU’s new chemicals registration regime - REACH - from the 27 national helpdesks that are now being set up.

The REACH Regulation is to be brought into force by 1 June. The UK’s helpdesk has already dealt with over 200 email enquiries from chemical firms and their customers (ENDS Report 385, p 11 ). These have ranged from preliminary questions about the overall scope of REACH and the extent of company obligations to more detailed issues of implementation.

A further helpdesk will be created under the new European Chemicals Agency that comes into being in June.

The European Commission has begun recruiting staff for the Agency. An advertisement was placed in February for the top job of Executive Director.1 A shortlist of candidates will be submitted to the Management Board of the Agency, which has yet to be nominated, for it to make the final selection.

It is also looking to fill several other temporary posts including junior and senior scientific officers, information technology officers, legal advisors, financial and accounting assistants and human resources staff.

The Agency needs to recruit 100 people this year, building up to more than 400 by 2010 as the deadlines for registration of chemicals under REACH begin to bite.