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Impact of REACH Authorisation

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12 December 2016

Report from recent summit in Brussels regarding the impact of REACH Authorisation



On the 10th November 2016, a summit entitled “Impact of REACH Authorisation: costs and benefits” was held in Brussels, attracting 50 representatives from EU Institutions, Permanent Representations & Missions to the EU and industry. 

With the European Commission’s REFIT report scheduled for presentation in June 2017, this timely event was attended by SEA Chief Executive Dave Elliott who championed the concerns and thoughts of members and the surface engineering industry as a whole.

Dave Elliott was invited to speak at the event, as an industry expert at the forefront of surface engineering, and voiced a significant industry concern regarding the effects this legislation is having (and could potentially have) on SMEs. He disputed the real value of current REACH studies, which he believes do not present the real-life impacts these regulations are having on the industry and businesses trying to compete successfully within the global market.

Beginning his speech by stressing the impact REACH legislation is having on the industry, Mr. Elliott said: “Surface engineering is crucial for manufactured products and as surface engineering companies use up to 200 different substances to apply a coating to a manufactured product, the sector is profoundly impacted by REACH.”

He went on to comment on the recently published ECHA study, which estimated that the total cost assessed for all the restrictions in the EU having gone through the REACH procedure is €290 million per year, with health benefits equivalent to over €700 million.  He questioned the accuracy of this data and suspected that it is overestimating benefits and underestimating cost. However, he fully subscribes to a careful substance management, particularly for those chemicals that could qualify as SVHCs, which where possible should be removed from global supply chains if suitable alternatives are technically and economically feasible.  His main message was to encourage the EU to ensure that their decisions are made on the real impacts of REACH on SMEs which currently would make them less competitive in the global marketplace due to the aforementioned issues.

Many of the attendees of this summit agreed that although REACH seems to have taken the right steps in looking at risk-based approaches, there are still flaws in the current legislation that should be carefully considered before the June 2017 presentation. 

MEP Jens Hieseke (EEP, Germany) highlighted that substitution is not always the best solution, especially in cases where there has not yet been the development of viable alternatives.  Similarly, Klaus Berend emphasised the aims to collect more robust data and information from the “real world”, recognising that data is limited from companies who have already found an alternative substance.

The meeting was concluded by encouraging the continuation of constructive debate of REACH between the EU Institutions and all of the relevant stakeholders.

To read the official report, please click here   REACH Event - European Parliament

To see video of the event please follow this link

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