Industry counts down to REACH legislation

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European chemicals agency Chemical substance

With the implementation of the REACH legislation fast
approaching, Colipa officials advised the industry on the necessary
action at last week's General Assembly in Switzerland.

The database will open for the pre-registration of chemicals on 1 June as part of the European-wide chemicals legislation adopted in December 2006 that will see the registration of an estimated 30,000 chemicals across many industries. The legislation will significantly affect the cosmetics industry and requires any ingredient imported or manufactured in quantities of more than one tonne per year to be registered. Pre-registration is crucial ​ Any substance that will ultimately be registered with the database must be pre-registered, explained Manuela Coroama from the European trade association. Pre-registration can be done over the internet from 1 June to 1 December 2008, although Coroama warned that bulk registrations of multiple substances at one time may encounter technical faults. She advised downstream users to check with their suppliers as soon as possible to make sure that all ingredients appearing in their products will be pre-registered within the time period. By 1 January 2009 the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency which will be responsible for the day to day running of the legislation) will publish a list of all pre-registered substances. Ingredients not on the list will not be allowed in cosmetics products although certain exceptions do exist. Some substances are exempt from registration ​ Coroama said chemicals included in Annex IV and V are exempt from registration, she said, adding however that these two annexes are currently under revision. The changes are likely to be small though so companies need not pre-register annex IV and V substances even as a precautionary measure, she explained. Nonetheless, she did say that companies should flag up substances from the two annexes included in their products and be prepared to pre-register them quickly when the annex modifications have been made public. Another concern highlighted was the correct identification of substances. The database aims to have one entry per chemical which will only succeed if registrants can correctly identify their substance and assess the sameness to other existing entries. Other concerns mentioned by Coroama included the lack of legislation details in languages other than English, and the disruptions to the supply chain that may result from complications with the pre-registration process.

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