21-Oct-2011

REACH to review procedures as 2013 deadline looms

The European Commission is preparing to review the European Union’s (EU) chemical control system REACH, and will release its proposals by next June (2012).

These proposals will consider the operation of the system itself; whether it should be changed to avoid overlaps with other EU chemical legislation; and a special review of REACH assessments of chemicals used in small quantities.

Meanwhile, ECHA – in common with other EU agencies this year – has promised to make transparency and conflicts of interest a priority, adopting new guidelines and policies.

ECHA said new guidance, to be published soon, ‘demonstrates the importance of transparency and independence of decision-making’ at the agency. It will involve a new declaration of interest for ECHA employees, its management board and other agency bodies. An ethical committee will also be created.

The changes come as the agency has warned the pharmaceutical sector to prepare for the next key registration deadline under REACH and has launched a 'REACH 2013 – Act Now' campaign.

The deadline is 31 May, 2013, and covers companies manufacturing or importing chemicals in quantities of more than 100 tonnes a year.

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