REACH: First Reading Results

Published: 29 June 2006

Policies & Issues: Environment

Orgalime key comments and requests

In view of the further proceedings of the European institutions on the REACH proposal,Orgalime would like to request the support of regulators for our comments and proposals following the results achieved by the Institutions during first reading.

Registration: We welcome that further to the introduction of use and exposure categories as a means of communication along the supply chain by the European Parliament, the Council has taken up and completed this proposal in the relevant downstream user chapter. We request the European Parliament to support the Council’s approach to the benefit of the workability of REACH, especially for SMEs, and in the interest of the protection of European Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Authorisation: Innovating and manufacturing in Europe requires a wide substance portfolio and therefore, as flexible as possible provisions regarding authorisation.  Authorisation in our view needs to be based on the principle of 'adequately controlled' following sound scientific assessment.  If Europe’s engineering industry is supposed to remain competitive on global markets and to innovate and manufacture within the EU, authorisation must not establish a mandatory principle of substitution nor foresee time limits, which would cause significant legal and planning uncertainty, a negative investment climate as well as disruption in our whole supply chain. The authorisation chapter, as established in the Council’s common position, in our view represents a strong compromise and definitely the maximum feasible for our industry. Going beyond the Council text would be unmanageable, disproportionate and at the expense of the competitiveness of European engineering industries. We call upon the European Parliament to accept the Council’s common position as a compromise solution in the light of the jobs and growth agenda.

Substances in articles: One outstanding issue for the engineering industry remains article 7 of the common position, which imposes registration/notification requirements on substances released from final goods. We are concerned with the potential overlaps of these provisions with existing sector specific legislation applying to our products, and the trade implications linked with them.  The Council in its common position has considerably shifted forward compliance dates for 'substances in articles' provisions, which in our view put EU article manufacturers, the majority of which being SMEs, at a competitive disadvantage.

We encourage the European Parliament to reintroduce the transition period of 11 years for the entry into force of article 7 in order to avoid a shift of responsibility in the supply chain.

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