REACH Conference – 23 September 2011

What did we achieve in 2010 -
how can we ease the way for 2013?

Organised by the European Commission, together with the European Chemicals Agency, the conference aimed to assess what we learnt during the 2010 registration procedure, both in terms of early results of the REACH regulation and in terms of process. The conference highlighted what went well and where improvements are needed to ease the way for the 2013 registration deadline.

All REACH stakeholders such as authorities, industry associations, workers associations, NGO's, non-EU countries were invited to attend.


Outcome

The presentations as well as all the discussions can be viewed here:

http://webcast.ec.europa.eu/eutv/portal/archive.html?viewConference=12888

The webcast is available in the following six languages: DE, EN, ES, FR, IT and PL.


The registration to this event is now closed.

REACH is the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It entered into force on 1st June 2007. The main aims of REACH are to ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals, the promotion of alternative test methods, the free circulation of substances on the internal market and enhancing competitiveness and innovation.

Registration is one of the key elements of risk management in REACH. It is staggered across three different deadlines – 2010, 2013, and 2018. One of the principles laid down by REACH, is that companies that don't register the substance they manufacture or import on time cannot place it on the EU market.


REACH and Animal Testing

The Commission received several requests from animal welfare supporters to take up this issue in the REACH Registration Conference. This is our reply to them:

The Commission takes the concerns about the use of animals for testing seriously. The Commission undertakes a large range of activities in this regard. For example the current Framework Programme for research supports the development of new test methods. We operate the European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) which is a global leader in the field. We have also created the TSAR tracking system to ensure that promising new methods can swiftly be adopted for regulatory use, including within REACH. The latest fruits of this work will shortly be seen in the next amendment to the test method regulation.
Within REACH there is a need to gather information on substances so that industry can manage them safely. It has been public knowledge since the drafting of REACH that the need to gather information would result in an increased use of laboratory animals. One of the aims of the REACH Regulation is therefore to promote non-animal test methods.
The regulation requires companies to share data and hence avoid unnecessary animal testing. This mechanism appears to be functioning because the number of tests performed for REACH purposes as reported by ECHA in 2011 is no more than the Commission's Joint Research Centre estimated in 2003. Furthermore, the actual number of testing proposals submitted by the November 2010 registration deadline to ECHA was substantially less than estimated in 2003.
The conference that will be held on 23 September aims to assess the achievements of the REACH registration process and to alert companies that the 2013 registration deadline is coming up. While alternatives to animal testing are not central to the theme of this particular conference, it will address the issue of data sharing and how that can be improved, which could further reduce the need for testing on animals.


More information about REACH:
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/chemicals/reach/reach_intro.htm
http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/chemicals/reach/index_en.htm
http://echa.europa.eu/