The European Commission Reviews REACH.

The European Commission published its long-anticipated REACH Review on February 5, concluding that chemical use in Europe was much safer since REACH entered into force in 2007. The Review declined to propose any major changes to the regulatory scheme.

The Commission published a 13-page report and 148-page Staff Working Document which covers topics including the law’s operation, scope, and application; achieving REACH objectives like human health and market competitiveness; and enforcement.

The Review focused on ways to reduce the costs of REACH compliance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Commission anticipates further action to help SMEs comply with the law, including revising the REACH Fee Regulation and publishing guidance on transparency, non-discrimination and cost-sharing in preparing registration dossiers.

Other areas of improvement highlighted by the Commission include encouraging registrants to improve the quality of registration dossiers and enhancing the coordination of REACH enforcement in EU member states, especially with regard to “substances of very high concern” (SVHCs).

The Review concluded that there was insufficient information available to propose changes to registration requirements for substances produced in small quantities (1 to 10 tons) or for polymers. The Commission will continue to study these issues and, if appropriate, will release a new proposal by January 1, 2015.

The Review also did not propose any changes to the EU’s regulation of nanomaterials. The Commission will make an “impact assessment of relevant regulatory options” on the issue and may develop a draft implementing act by the end of the year.

The EU Executive is expected to organize a conference on REACH Review in the coming months.

The full report and Staff Working Document are available on the European Commission’s website.