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No data, no market! - 13/05/2008

EU calls on industry to register chemicals in preparation for new "REACH" regulation on chemicals and their safe use.

The deadline for registering chemicals is fast approaching. By "pre-registering" between 1 June and 1 December, importers and manufacturers can avoid unnecessary testing and push back the deadline for full registration.

The REACH rules require all EU-based companies to register (or pre-register) chemicals they manufacture or import in significant quantities – a tonne or more a year. The data they submit will be used to weigh up safety risks and assess how the chemicals might affect our health and the environment.

"REACH is the most ambitious chemicals legislation in the world." explained environment commissioner, Stravros Dimas. "It will make an invaluable contribution to safe management of chemicals in the EU." Over 30 000 substances (acids, metals, solvents, etc.) are covered by the pre-registration and registration obligations.

Pre-registration will help businesses to share data and reduce costs by avoiding unnecessary testing. And it will give them more time for full registration. The European chemicals agency (ECHA) has proposed deadline extensions of 3-11 years for companies that pre-register.

Any company that doesn't pre-register between 1 June and 1 December 2008 will have to stop producing or importing immediately. To restart, they’ll have to go through the full-registration procedure.

On 29 April, the European chemicals bureau (ECB) celebrated fifteen years of monitoring dangerous chemicals. The pre-registration period will start on the day the ECB officially hands over its remit to the new ECHA.

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