Firms advised to pre-register all chemical substances for REACH

Chemical manufacturers and importers are being urged to prepare for pre-registration of all their substances, regardless of current production, during the six-month window provided next year under the REACH Regulation. Meanwhile, officials may be lenient about next month’s first deadline on safety data sheets.

Nearly ten years in preparation, the EU’s new chemicals licensing regime, REACH, will come into force on 1 June. The date will set the clock ticking for an 11-year regime that aims to see some 30,000 substances registered for sale in the EU once risk data on them have been submitted (ENDS Report 386, p 47 ).

At a conference organised by the Rubber and Plastics Research Association in Brussels in April, several speakers urged companies not to leave it too late to find out which chemicals they manufacture, import and use and ensure they or their suppliers submit basic data on these to the European Chemicals Agency during the pre-registration window between 1 June and 1 December 2008.

Such substances would then be pre-registered. Companies would then take part in substance information exchange fora (SIEFs) allowing them to reach agreement on classification and labelling of substances and to decide if they need to share test data with others by forming consortia.

To pre-register, companies need only to provide:

  • The names of their substances.
  • The name of the companies for which they are registering these substances.
  • Any similar substances that may offer the opportunity for read-across of likely properties.
  • An indication of which tonnage threshold under the Regulation applies to their substances.

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