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Changes to chemicals legislation in the pipeline - REACH and CLP

Ashleigh Williams
Jul 27, 2016

There have been a number of developments for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical Substances (REACH) Regulations over the past few weeks.

I will highlight most of the main points within this Blog; however, there are other changes in the pipeline, so please make sure that you make yourself aware of all updates that may affect your business, including changes to the use of specific substances and materials, as well as amendments to certain testing methods.

Main changes

The changes discussed in this Blog have been introduced to support those businesses that are affected by the REACH Regulations. I have provided links to relevant documentation below:

  • The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has compiled an inventory of substances which are likely to meet the criteria of Annex III of the REACH Regulations
    The inventory was created to help registrants to identify if they are required to meet reduced minimum information requirements or provide a full Annex VII information set.
  • ECHA has also released a report on the operation of REACH and (CLP) Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures
    The main points that I have taken from the report are as follows:
    • REACH and CLP operations have successfully steered companies towards handling chemicals more safely
    • Innovation continues and competitiveness of industry has been maintained
    • The quality of information being provided by companies in registration dossiers has improved; however, there is still work to be done
    • ECHA has moved from data gathering to knowledge management in order to manage various REACH and CLP processes
    • Efforts are being made to ensure that the final REACH 2018 registration deadline is a success
    • Mobilisation of industry for the 2018 deadline has begun, but more needs to be done
    • The Roadmap outlines what will be covered by the 2017 review. The Roadmap also places particular emphasis on the need for SMEs to register
    • The 2017 review will cover 5 main aspects: effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, relevance and EU added value
    • The 2018 deadline is not the end of the story. Changes will occur in the chemicals market and companies will need to keep their dossiers up-to-date. Industry and authorities will also need to face up to recognised challenges posed by nano-materials, endocrine disrupting chemical properties, or the combination effects of hazardous substances
  • ECHA is applying for a two-year ‘moratorium' on updates to the majority of the Agency's guidance on REACH before the 31 May 2018 deadline
    ECHA has published a list of the REACH guidance documents that are or will be under consultation and are not part of the standstill
  • The candidate list for authorisation for SVHCs has been updated
    Benzo[def]chrysene added with a date of inclusion of 20/06/2016 meaning there are now 169 substances on the list
  • REACH-IT has been updated
    A new version of REACH-IT, the dossier submission and communication tool, is now available. In the new program dossiers can now only be created with IUCLID 6. The new version of REACH-IT is easier to use and has in tool guidance which will be especially helpful for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) registering their chemicals by 31 May 2018. ECHA has also compiled a new REACH-IT factsheet
  • REACH - European Union (EU) Referendum
    The UK vote to leave the EU has provoked uncertainty surrounding UK chemical legislation, in particular REACH. It is yet to be seen what approach the UK will take in terms of whether we will opt to comply with REACH as a non-EU country that is part of the European Economic Area (EEA) or opt out. However, REACH will at least still be applicable in the UK for the near future whilst negotiations take place and because REACH is currently covered by most chemical supply agreements. There are positives and negatives for either decision in the future, some of which are outlined below:
Positive for opt in Negative for opt in Positive for opt out Negative for opt out
The existing single market for chemicals and the value of REACH registrations would be maintained Due to Brexit the UK will lose its ability to take part in decisions on EU chemicals legislation Could reduce burden as member states have to comply with somewhat excessive health and safety legislation Current supply agreements would need to be updated
No relief from the burden of REACH Certain substances that have been phased out in the EU might be reintroduced The UK will be outside of the EU; therefore, companies may have to appoint an Only Representative (OR) or their importer to register the applicable substances
Questions will be raised regarding already completed registrations by UK companies as well as those which will be completed between now and the 2018 registration deadline. Would these become invalid? What about joint registrants? Questions will also arise around data ownership and costs 
Providers of the OR service will need to relocate in the EEA if they wish to retain their business as ORs
There would be disruption to the chemicals trade because, although  negotiations will happen, companies will still have to comply with REACH. The UK will need to put in place a national chemicals policy to address the issues covered by REACH

If you would like to find out more about changes to the REACH Regulations please call 03450 682 572 or email info@valpak.co.uk

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