Member states, ECHA agree to improve substance evaluation interactions.

Member states, the European Commission, and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) have agreed on recommendations for improving communications under the REACH Community Rolling Action Plan (Corap). Last month, we reported on the presentation and endorsement of a working group paper recommending the improvement of interactions during the REACH substance evaluation process. Earlier this week, ECHA released the paper [PDF], which is aimed at evaluating member states and intended to “give guidance for a common approach and create a level playing field.”

The nonbinding recommendations encourage evaluating member states to contact the lead registrant in the first instance. Registrants should be proactive, “speak with one voice” in communications, and send consolidated comments on draft decisions on behalf of all registrants.

The recommendations are not meant to be exhaustive, since interactions will vary by evaluation, and instead focus on the “informal interaction” between evaluators and registrants during the current evaluation year. The experience gained from first year of evaluations informed the recommendations, which will be revised as necessary based on further experiences. The paper is intended to complement the previously published leaflet, “Substance evaluation under REACH – Tips for registrants and downstream users” [PDF].