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REACH Review 2012

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REACH Review

The Commission adopted the General Report "Review of REACH" on 5 February 2013. The Report and the Commission Staff Working Document are published on EUR-Lex:

Report from the Commission {COM(2013)0049}
Staff Working Document {SWD(2013)0025}

For key messages and conclusions see the press release and press memo.

 

Conclusions of the review

The Commission has concluded that REACH functions well and delivers on all objectives that at present can be assessed. Some needs for adjustments have been identified, but balanced against the interest of ensuring legislative stability and predictability, the Commission will not propose any changes to the enacting terms of REACH.

Within the current framework, however, there is a need to reduce the impact of REACH on SMEs. The annex to the general report sets out measures that will contribute to this goal.

There are many other opportunities for further improvement of the functioning of REACH by optimizing the implementation at all levels. Some key findings and recommendations are:

  • The report makes recommendations to improve REACH implementation. These include improving the quality of registration dossiers, encouraging companies to enhance the use of safety data sheets as a central risk management tool, and addressing issues related to the transparency of cost sharing within the Substance Information Exchange Forums (SIEFs).
  • The report recommends reducing the financial and administrative burden on SMEs in order to ensure the proportionality of legislation and to assist them to fulfil all their REACH obligations. The Commission will look into greater fee reductions to SMEs.
  • There are no major overlaps with other EU legislation.
  • Considerable efforts to develop alternative methods to animal testing have been made and will continue: since 2007, the Commission has made available € 330 million to fund research in this area.
  • Enforcement could be improved. As this is the responsibility of the Member States, the report recommends to Member States to reinforce coordination among them.
  • Although the report identifies a need for some adjustments to the legislation, the Commission wants to ensure legislative stability and predictability for European businesses. No changes to REACH's main terms are proposed at present.

 

Next Steps

As foreseen in article 138 of the Regulation and taking into account the Commission's right of initiative, the Commission may, if appropriate, present a legislative proposal based on the review outcomes and after considering all the expected socio-economic effects through a proper impact assessment process, bearing also in mind, among others, potential impacts on the next registration deadlines (2013 and 2018).

With regard to nanomaterials, the Commission will make in impact assessment of relevant regulatory options, in particular possible amendments of REACH Annexes, to ensure further clarity on how nanomaterials are addressed and safety demonstrated in registration dossiers. If appropriate, the Commission will come forward with a draft implementing act by December 2013.

The Commission will also follow up on the registration requirements for substances in tonnages between 1 and 10 tonnes and the impact of REACH on innovation and report back by January 2015.

In cooperation with Member States and ECHA, the Commission is developing a roadmap to assess and identify substances of very high concern (SVHC). It will set out clear milestones, deliverables and the division of work between the Commission, Member States and ECHA to place all relevant known SVHC on the candidate list by 2020.

The Commission will also look into greater fee reductions to SMEs to spread the financial impact of registration more evenly.

The Commission will organize a conference to gather feedback to the conclusions of the Review in the coming months.

 

Background and Scope

REACH has been in force for 5 years, and several important milestones in its implementation have already passed. The Commission launched a  review which consisted of the legally required reviews and reports: (a) the review of ECHA (Article 75.2), (b) the review to assess whether or not to amend the scope of REACH in order to avoid overlaps with other EU legislation (Article 138.6), and (c) a general report from the experience acquired in the operation of the regulation (Article 117.4) including a review of the requirements relating to registration of  low tonnage substances Article 138(3) and the information submitted by the Member States and ECHA in their respective reports on the operation of REACH (Art.117(1)(2)(3).

In addition, the review included a report on the first lessons learnt from the implementation of REACH with special attention to the costs and administrative burden on companies and impacts on innovation.

All of these reviews and reports are presented as a package, accompanied by a Chapeau Communication to give a complete overview.

 

Methodology

To inform the 2012 review process the Commission completed several thematic studies. They addressed the following issues which provided input to the Commission services during the review:

 

Contact

If you want to be kept informed about the launch of the registration for conferences or workshops, further consultation processes or surveys, or want to give feedback to the Report from the Commission or any of the above mentioned studies, please send an email to the following address, stating the study you are interested in: ENTR-ENV-REACH-REVIEW@EC.EUROPA.EU.