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30 November 2010: Last call for companies to register chemicals

The Commission reminds companies that they must register the most widely used or most dangerous chemicals by the deadline of 30 November this year, less than 12 weeks from now.

Registration is one of the milestones of REACH, the EU Regulation on chemicals and their safe use Companies are also reminded that they must notify the Classification and Labelling of their chemicals to European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) by 3 January next year.

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and Commissioner for Environment Janez Potočnik, said: “Our chemical industry needs to be sustainable. Therefore, we appeal to all companies concerned to submit their dossiers in time and in full. These demands on companies are tough but they are also an investment that will pay off by fostering the leading role of Europe’s chemical industry. The rewards will be increased competitiveness, more innovation, and more jobs for Europe's citizens in a cleaner and healthier environment."

As of 10 September about 4000 dossiers have been submitted to the ECHA and the rate is increasing very rapidly. Companies are urged to finalise their dossiers and submit them as soon as possible. Lead registrants are encouraged to register by 30 September, to allow a safety margin in case of problems with their registrations and sufficient time for other registrants to introduce their dossiers before end November. Companies must submit their dossier electronically via the REACH-IT tool.

The Commission and ECHA are doing all they can to support industry in this exercise. A Group of senior managers from the Commission, ECHA and industry associations has been working successfully to make the registration process smoother. ECHA has increased efforts to publish detailed guidance in 22 EU languages.

The effort from industry should also be acknowledged. The deadline is coming up fast and it is a challenge to establish and manage work within the Substance Information Exchange fora, where they share data on chemicals for the purpose of registration.

The registration process does not only affect the chemicals industry, but also operators who do not directly belong to the chemicals sector, such as metal or textile producers.

Users of chemicals depend on the availability of substances on the market and on timely registration. What is more, following registration, they must comply with the improved safety recommendations made by their suppliers, or in certain cases make their own risk assessments for their specific uses.

Deadlines for new rules for classification of substances

Companies are also reminded that they need to reclassify the substances they sell according to new rules on Classification and Labelling by 1 December 2010, and then notify the classifications to ECHA by 3 January 2011. Geert Dancet, ECHA Executive Director added "Our advice to companies preparing for CLP is to get ready to notify on time. ECHA and national helpdesks are available to help and support industry, especially SMEs, to comply with their obligations". Classification is essential to determine whether a chemical is dangerous for health and the environment, and it will determine the information on the labels of products that workers and consumers use. It is important to note that these notifications must also be sent for small quantities of chemicals. This means many more companies are affected including SMEs.

More information: MEMO/10/400

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