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 REACH & COMPLIANCE
 
 

What is REACH ?

REACH is a new European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use (EC 1907/2006). It deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances.

Pre-registration continues until December 2008

REACH, the most important and complex regulation ever imposed on the chemicals industry in Europe, came into effect on 1 June, requiring those who produce, market and import chemicals in the EU to prove their safety. This has set in motion an 18-month phase of pre-registration for some 30,000 affected substances, during which all relevant chemical products must be identified and recorded with the new European Chemicals Agency (EChA) in Helsinki.

The EChA began operations on the same day under interim executive director Geert Dancet, who has been seconded by the European Commission (EC) to head the team. Up to 40 employees are temporarily transferring in order to get the system started. Companies who pre-register products before 1 December 2008 will be able to spread the costs of registration over the 11-year implementation phase. A new website (http://echa.europa.eu) has been set up to help registrants.

Various industry associations and companies active in marketing REACH compliance services marked the date of it coming into force by launching additional services. CEFIC, for instance, noted that it has already been heavily involved in several of the EC’s REACH Implementation Projects, looking in detail at how the legislation will work in practice.

The association added that it has also issued five REACH preparation newsletters over the last 15 months, which, it claimed, “the EC itself has acknowledged to be the best source of practical insight for industry on how to prepare” and has organised workshops, consultancy and training via ReachCentrum, its consortium facilitation and management body.

“It would be unrealistic to expect all aspects of REACH to work perfectly from Day One, but that cannot be an excuse - we have to make it work and that will require joint efforts of the industry, the Commission, the EChA and the national competent authorities to find solutions to problems as they arise and to ensure that learning and good practice is quickly shared,” CEFIC said.

“REACH presents significant challenges for makers, importers and users of chemicals,” commented Steve Elliott, CEO of the UK’s CIA. “For its own sake, industry must make REACH a success - its reputation and commercial viability relies on it and society demands it.”

On 1 June, REACHReady, the CIA subsidiary set up to help companies to deal with REACH, launched a free online tool called ‘Should you worry about REACH?’ (www.reachready.co.uk/worry_free.php). This uses a simple graphical representation to enable companies to see how likely they are to be affected by REACH.

Meanwhile, ReFaC, the REACH facilitation company for the chemical supply chain run by the UK’s Chemical Business Alliance, likewise launched a new and secure product database to help companies form consortia and achieve cost-effective REACH compliance at www.refac.eu.

This database already contains product names, CAS and EINECS numbers and tonnage band information for a broad spectrum of products. To access, search or add to it, companies must first register with ReFaC, but this is free of charge and carries no further obligation to use ReFaC’s services.

Large companies have also been quick to demonstrate their preparedness for REACH. BASF said that it began preparing three years ago. Ernst Schwanhold, head of its Centre of Competence for the Environment, Safety & Energy, added that BASF will register approximately 2,500 chemicals under REACH at a cost of about €50 million/year over the 11 years of implementation.

A company REACH Implementation Team is ensuring that all products of the various operating divisions are included in the REACH system and product safety experts have developed a central ‘REACH Tracking System’ database, with information on thousands of chemical entities, user details and hazard assessments. BASF has set itself the goal of reviewing and risk-evaluating all of the chemicals it makes in volumes of over 1 tonne/year to REACH specifications by 2015.

In addition, the BASF Success team, which manages sustainability-related services, has now launched a REACH consulting service for SME manufacturers, users and importers who generally lack the necessary internal expertise to cope. The services will range from status quo analysis, employee training, and pre-registration, to all the elements involved in registration and authorisation.

Within Degussa, which claimed to have “played an active role in the development of an effective and efficient chemicals law in the EU from the beginning and has contributed to the European legislative process”, a newly established project organisation will be responsible for the implementation of REACH requirements.

This will combine the activities of the decentralised units into a REACH work team and coordinate the necessary data and information for pre-registration and registration. Degussa has already worked out how many and which substances fall under REACH and is preparing for pre-registration. This will draw on the chemical management system Degussa developed some years ago, which, it says, “has created excellent conditions” for REACH implementation.

IMPORTANT  LINKS  FOR REACH  INFORMATION

European Commission and other Agencies
European Chemicals Bureau
European Agency for Safety and Health at work
Other organisations
European Environmental Bureau
OECD eChemPortal - Global Portal to Information on Chemical Substances
International Actions
United Nations Institute for Training and Research - Chemicals, Waste and Environmental Governance
Globally Harmonised System (GHS)
NGOs
Greenpeace
Friends of the Earth
Health & Environment Alliance

Compliance
General Statement regarding our products

On behalf of Ornet,  we can state that. The international range of Ornet products  comply with the European Union (EU) directives and regulations regarding restrictions on dangerous substances.

Application of the products lies outside the scope of our control and therefore comes  within the customer's sphere of responsibility.

This statement is made according to our present state of knowledge, considering that our products are of technical grade including assigned raw materials, intermediates and formulation products received from our suppliers.

On behalf of  Ornet Intermediates.
Quality and Environment Department.

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