- The big push towards 2013
- Following the lead to Helsinki: ECHA welcomed lead registrants back for a second workshop
- Smaller companies taking the lead
- Make every effort to share data within your SIEF
- How can I find my co-registrants?
- Candidate List – the way ahead
- ECHA finds over 2 000 potentially non-compliant dossiers
- Reaching the nano scale
- ECHA holds a scientific discussion session on in vivo mutagenicity tests
- The world is watching: ECHA at ICCM-3
- ECHA audited for the management of conflicts of interest: Taking an interest in interest management
- Airing new strategies for REACH implementation
- Executive Director visits authorities in Romania and Bulgaria: "More resources needed for chemicals management"
- Chair of the Risk Assessment Committee appointed
- Highlights of the 27th Management Board meeting
- Substitution of chemicals on the Candidate List for authorisation is already happening
Send your feedback to:echanewsletter (at) echa.europa.eu
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Following the lead to Helsinki: ECHA welcomed lead registrants back for a second workshop
With the 2013 deadline for phase-in chemicals fast approaching, the Second Lead Registrants Workshop provided a final opportunity for lead registrants to share their experiences, information and tips for registration.
More than 100 participants attended the two-day event in Helsinki, including newly appointed and candidate leads representing the chemical manufacturing industries. Experienced leads, industry representatives, consultants and representatives of the national helpdesks of four Member States were also present, while an additional 200 people followed online.
The event complemented the initial workshop earlier this year, which focussed on dossier submission IT-tools and lessons learned from the 2010 deadline. Workshop chair and Director of Cooperation at ECHA, Mr Andreas Herdina, welcomed the chance to discuss developments since then and practical ways to reach the May 2013 deadline and beyond.
A key message throughout the event was the need for lead registrants - those responsible for compiling lead dossiers in joint submissions – to register as soon as they can. "Registration is the start," ECHA Executive Director Geert Dancet said in the opening address. "You have a big responsibility, take the lead!"
Presentations covered, among others: management of substance information exchange forums (SIEFs); substance identification; confidentiality of information, communication down the supply chain; and exposure assessment. Each sparked robust discussions.
Participants also received targeted advice during one-to-one sessions and IT training sessions.
SUPPORTING DOWNSTREAM USERS
The challenges facing downstream users - right through to the customers at the end of the supply chain - was the focus of one session.
Sylvie Lemoine from the Downstream Users of Chemicals Co-ordination (DUCC) Group stressed the importance of harmonised and simple language and terminology. "It's a challenge for downstream users to manage their deadlines, given the complexity, language barriers and lack of targeted training", she said.
One useful way leads can assist is by inserting a simple table of contents in safety data sheets (SDS) listing exposure scenarios, in a harmonised format. "Providing good exposure scenarios to downstream users will avoid a lot of unnecessary questions after registration. We need your help to make the life of your customers easier!"
European Association of Metals consultant Hugo Waeterschoot says not enough attention was given to end users when REACH was designed. "And I think we see the consequences of that now." He suggested harmonising with already existing risk management legislation including workplace health and safety.
GETTING INACTIVE PRE-REGISTRANTS ON BOARD
Another issue raised was that of inactive or dormant pre-registrants.
The European Chemical Industry Council's Mercedes Viñas flagged targeted communications to inactive pre-registrants over the coming months. "Please note that we are progressing with the registrations … and if you want to change your data you can still do it," she suggested the communication could say.
CONFIDENTIALITY CLAIMS – ACT BY 31 OCTOBER
Questions were raised about the 31 October confidentiality claim deadline. From November 2012, safety data sheet information, including company names and registration numbers, will be published online. So, the 30 000 dossiers already in the dissemination portal will soon be searchable by registrant names, identifiers and tonnage bands.
NEW TOOLS AND FEATURES INTRODUCED
A number of new features were announced during the workshop, including the Co-registrants Page. The IT Tool feature will provide direct access to the contact details of co-registrants in real time, and identify potential registrants, who have successfully inquired about a certain substance. The REACH 2013 website has also been updated with links to tools, information and guidance documents for the deadline by Accredited Stakeholder Organisations.
HIGH QUALITY DATA AND REGULAR EVALUATION NEEDED TO ENSURE SAFE USE OF CHEMICALS
ECHA experts spoke about the need to provide quality data in dossiers and gave practical advice on updating them.
Registrants were reminded that the May 2013 deadline for chemicals at or above 100 tonnes a year was not the finish line. ECHA Scientific officer Rupert Simon described registration as a long-term commitment. "Leads should evaluate and update dossiers ideally every six months and take note of emails and information requests from ECHA", he added. "The earlier you react the earlier we can help you, and we are dedicated to do so."
Mr Waeterschoot concurred, sharing his experience of registrants missing the 2010 deadlines because they did not check their mailbox. "Act for the deadline, it may look like a Swiss watch but I can tell you the Finnish watch is just as precise in timing."
Adding colour, Dr Rene Hunziker from the Dow Chemical Company, told a tale of crossing the ‘roaming river REACH' to the new frontier. "Imagine there are no maps, no-one has ever gone there. Many have told stories of … an agency somewhere far off in the north."
"Everybody knew they had to cross the river REACH … and the promise, if you succeed, was a land of safe chemicals, a public with confidence in the chemical industry and its products."
"This land exists, it's not a dream."
The presentations and a video recording of the event are available on ECHA's website.
Text by Susanna Dunkerley
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Biocidal Products Committee:
26 February-1 March
Committee for Risk Assessment:
6-8 March and
Committee for Socio-Economic
Management Board meeting:
23-27 March (tentative)
Member State Committee:
20-24 April (tentative)