The European Commission has finally published the delayed second REACH review (REACH REFIT Evaluation) – Expected in June 2017.
The results of the assessment have been presented in a Commission Report on the operation of REACH, accompanied by a comprehensive evaluation report. The Report sets out 16 actions to be addressed and implemented in order to improve the Regulation:
- Encourage updating of registration dossiers – the European Commission, ECHA, Member States and industry will need to identify the reasons why registrants do not update their dossiers – By 1Q 2019;
- Improve evaluation procedures – ECHA is requested to significantly improve the procedure by 2019;
- Improve the workability and quality of extended Safety Data Slides – The European Commission will encourage industry to develop harmonised formats and may consider including minimum requirements for the exposure scenarios for substances and mixtures in Safety Data sheets;
- Track substances of concern in the supply chain;
- Promote substitution of SVHCs – through activities such as, promotion of capacity building and collaborative networks and promoting R&D investment in sustainable chemicals and technology innovations;
- Simplification for a more workable authorisation process;
- Early socio-economic information for possible regulatory measures – ECHA in co-operation with the European Commission and Member States will consider options to develop socio-economic information for consideration at the RMOA stage;
- Improve restriction procedures – in particular ECHA is required to clarify the information needed for public consultations, to identify relevant cases for restriction as part of its regular screening and continue its efforts to identify suitable cases for restricting CMR substances in consumer articles through a simplified procedure;
- Further enhance Member State involvement in the restriction procedure;
- Frame the application of the precautionary principle;
- Interplay between authorisation and restriction;
- Interface REACH and OSH legislation – the European Commission proposes to adopt concrete steps to remove the overlaps and clarify the interface between REACH and OSH;
- Enhance Enforcement;
- Support compliance by SMEs;
- Fees and the future of ECHA;
- Review of registration requirements for low tonnage substances and polymers.
Overall, the REACH Review concludes that REACH is generally coherent with other EU legislation concerning chemicals and delivers the international goals as intended. However, various opportunities for improvement, simplification and burden reduction have been identified and can be achieved in line with the renewed EU industrial Policy Strategy, Circular Economy Action Plan and the 7th Environment Action Programme. However, the review does not propose major legislative changes.