REACH substance evaluation interactions to be improved.

At a recent meeting of the Competent Authorities for REACH and CLP (Caracal), member states, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), and industry agreed on steps to improve interactions between registrants and member state competent authorities (MSCAs) during the REACH substance evaluation process. Chemical Watch reported last week that a working group presented a paper making a series of recommendations on how to improve communication under the REACH Community Rolling Action Plan (Corap). The working group was established at a May meeting of ECHA and industry representatives and was led by Ireland and the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), among others.

According to Chemical Watch, the paper – which has not yet been released – makes various recommendations for substances listed on Corap year one, generally specifying which communications should occur at certain points throughout the evaluation process; e.g., evaluators should contact registrants shortly after publication of the Corap, and a mechanism should be developed to ensure that all registrants are informed of an impending evaluation. For substances listed on Corap years two and three, the paper recommends that evaluating authorities communicate clarifications on the substance evaluation process, while registrants should provide status updates on ongoing tests or planned dossier changes which might affect the evaluation.

The purpose of the recommendations, according to ECHA representative Claudio Carlon, is to “to increase clarity on the Corap process and explain what registrants need to do before it starts and post draft decisions, and encourage informal interaction between member states and registrants.” The recommendations were reportedly supported by attendees of the Caracal meeting. Industry groups including Cefic are planning to publish “a comparable initiative,” focusing on how industry can prepare for interactions with MSCAs during the evaluation process. This initiative will also address “interactions with downstream users.”

ECHA is expected to publish the working group’s paper with “minor amendments” by the end of the year or early 2014.