The provisions of the Directive are put into practice in the Member States by Competent Authorities. For “New Substances” the Competent Authorities are regularly invited by the Commission to meet and discuss questions of interpretation of the Directive and other issues related to the practical operation.
These meetings of the Competent Authorities and the Commission are confidential in nature, since matters of commercial sensitivity related to individual notifications or prospective notifications may be discussed. Attendance at the meetings is restricted and the summary reports, the decisions, explanations and interpretations taken are similarly confidential.
For a number of years the decisions taken at these meetings were collected in a confidential “Manual of Decisions”. However, in order to provide guidance for industry and other bodies involved in the notification of “new” substances the Commission, together with the Member States, has undertaken to disclose those parts of the Manual which can be considered as non-confidential, and thus published a non-confidential version. This version was last updated in June 2005.