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Workshop on the safe use of chemicals by SMEs

16 September 2014:  Workshop on the safe use of chemicals by SMEs, Albert Borschette Conference Centre, Brussels

The workshop aims to address the challenges faced by companies and in particular SMEs to comply with the new rules for classification, labelling, packaging of mixtures introduced by the CLP regulation (Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Hazardous Chemicals).

The event will bring together stakeholders such as industry associations, business support organisations, trade unions, and consumer associations, as well as competent authorities and the national CLP helpdesks. All organisations whose members need to know about and/or comply with the regulation are invited to participate and to contribute to the discussions.

The workshop will:

  • Identify main challenges for a timely implementation of the CLP Regulation
  • Discuss practical solutions to the specific needs of SMEs
  • Promote the safe use of chemicals in Europe

The CLP Regulation is relatively new EU legislation that adapted the harmonised criteria for the classification, packaging and labelling of chemicals to the international GHS system (Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals).  Its purpose is to ensure a high level of protection of health and the environment, as well as free movement of substances, mixtures and articles. In line with international agreements, CLP requires companies to classify, label and package their hazardous chemicals appropriately before placing them on the market. The new provisions have applied for substances already since 2010, but for mixtures, which represent the vast majority of products on the market, the new provisions will apply as of 1 June 2015. 

Although the obligations are similar to previous EU legislation, there are some important differences. Moreover, the number of products that must be re-labelled to comply with the CLP is enormous, including both consumer items (such as paints or detergents) as well as industrial mixtures. The majority of the operators concerned are SMEs, who may not be fully informed of the new regulation and the related obligations. Therefore, the workshop aims to attract multipliers of information towards SMEs in the first place and to help spreading the message to companies of the need for action to update their chemicals labels in line with CLP.

Interpretation in 6 languages (PL, ES, IT, FR, EN, DE) will be provided, and, the link to the live webstreaming will be activated few minutes before the opening of the conference (9:00hrs on 16 September 2014).

The registration was closed on 26 August 2014.

EU chemicals legislation and essential oils

The European Commission, in co-operation with the European Chemicals Agency, is organising a workshop on 8 April 2014 in Brussels to discuss the handling of essential oils under the REACH and CLP regulations, to identify the issues at stake and to explore possible solutions.                                                                                                                                             

Producers and distillers of essential oils (such as lavender oil) recently expressed their concerns about registration requirements under REACH and other issues such as classification and labelling obligations.

The workshop will bring together the sector's representatives from the different Member States concerned as well as the national competent authorities, and will be open to the press.

If you plan to attend, please register your participation with Ms Ewa Tercjak at the following address by 3 April 2014 at 17:00.

The working language will be English.

REACH aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. REACH also promotes the free circulation of substances on the internal market and aims to enhance competitiveness and innovation.  The CLP Regulation ensures that the hazards presented by chemicals are clearly communicated to workers and consumers in the European Union through classification and labelling of chemicals.

REACHing out to SMEs: REACH Registration workshop for SMEs and larger companies

10-11 December, 2013, Renaissance Hotel, Brussels


The European Commission is organising a workshop to bring together SMEs and larger companies to find solutions to registration problems, including participating in substance information exchange forums (SIEFs). The workshop will be held on 10-11 December, 2013 in the Renaissance Hotel in Brussels.

The registration for this workshop is now closed and the Commission has finalised the list of selected participants.

Representatives of SMEs, as well as of larger companies, are invited to actively debate the challenges and problems that they are facing or expecting to face for the next REACH registration deadline in 2018. The European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will be there to facilitate the discussions and to retain the best ideas for workable solutions to the problems identified in relation to the REACH registration. These problems are often related to the functioning of SIEFs, for example joint submission, cost sharing, access to data, communication in SIEFs, confidentiality, and uncertainty about a substance being registered.

The workshop will be an opportunity for SMEs and larger companies to interact among themselves and to enter into a direct dialogue with the European Commission and ECHA.  The aim of the workshop will be on finding solutions to concrete issues. The workshop will be organised in the form of small break-out groups, encouraging all participants to make their contributions. It will be a chance to interact directly with regulators and to engage with them in a reflexion about how the implementation of REACH can be improved.

The draft programme, based on the feedback received from companies, is available on the workshop's webpage.


REACH registration is essential to ensure that manufacturers, importers and downstream users identify and take the appropriate measures needed to avoid adverse effects of chemical substances on humans or the environment.  Importers and manufacturers of chemical substances have already passed two REACH registration deadlines, in 2010 and earlier this year in May. So far, the most hazardous substances as well as the largest volumes of chemical substances have been registered .  The third and last registration deadline falls in 2018 and it applies for chemical substances imported and manufactured in quantities of 1 tonne per year or more.  In view of the lower volumes involved, this deadline will concern many more companies than before and will affect SMEs in particular.

Workshop on the follow-up to the Review of REACH, 27 June 2013, Brussels

On 27 June 2013 the Commission hosted a workshop to present the main findings of its Report on the operation of REACH and to discuss priorities for actions, to follow-up on the Report's recommendations. 

More than five years into its operation, the REACH Regulation has passed a number of important milestones, and the review obligations in the Regulation were an opportunity to look at the progress on all REACH objectives. The report concludes that REACH works but that there are many opportunities for improvement. The workshop discussed with the stakeholders some of the report's main recommendations and possibilities for concrete actions.

Introduced by Vice-President Tajani and Commissioner Potočnik, the workshop took place in the Albert Borschette Conference Centre, room AB-0A, rue Froissart 36, Brussels, and can be viewed on webstream.

Conference on REACH & CLP Enforcement, 1 March 2012, Brussels, Belgium

logo conference

The European Commission organised a conference on the Enforcement of REACH and CLP on 1 March 2012 in Brussels.

The Conference gathered authorities and stakeholders from all REACH and CLP sectors. Enforcement and competent authorities, companies – particularly small and medium enterprises (SME) -, industry associations, workers associations, non-governmental organisations (NGO), importers and only representatives (OR) and non-EU country representatives discussed how REACH and CLP are being enforced in the EU. Enforcement helps to achieve the objectives of these regulations and fosters an equal playing field for companies on the EU market.

The Conference focused on enforcement activities and on identifying good practices from Member States’ authorities as well as stakeholders. Members of ECHA’s Forum (the Member State enforcement authorities’ network)  presented their activities.

The agenda and presentations are available here.


REACH Registration Conference – 23 September 2011

What did we achieve in 2010 – How can we ease the way for 2013?

Past achievements and lessons learnt for the future of the REACH registration process were debated at the conference organised by the European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Brussels.

Halfway between the two first registration deadlines for REACH, the conference discussed what concrete results can be observed at this early stage. The “REACH Registration Conference” gathered participants representing all REACH stakeholders, including industry, public authorities, workers' associations, and NGOs.

The Conference examined how the REACH provisions have worked out so far. Industry has been successful in meeting the 2010 REACH registration deadline, but many questions remain. Speakers looked at how the data sharing requirements operated in practice, assessed the quality and added-value of the data that has been provided by industry and examine what early benefits for industry, public authorities and citizens can be perceived.

The conference also launched ECHA's campaign to raise awareness of the 2013 deadline, particularly among SMEs.

The presentations as well as all the discussions can be viewed here. The webcast is available in the following six languages: DE, EN, ES, FR, IT and PL.