Time running out for chemical companies
Oct 26 2009
A LEADING provider of REACH Management IT Solutions today warned time is running out for chemical companies to form Substance Information Exchange Fora (SIEF) - an essential part of the REACH substance registration process.
Malcolm Pollard, CEO of Baytouch Ltd, said companies do not fully appreciate the problems they will encounter in attempting to comply with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals (REACH) - the most complex legislation in the European Union’s history.
The new law’s 849 pages took seven years to pass and it has been described as the most important legislation in 20 years.
Mr Pollard warned that unless companies with registration responsibilities in the first wave begin their SIEF formation activities they will not achieve registration by the December 1 2010 deadline.
And without registering this data to comply with REACH, these companies will no longer be able to trade.
REACH places responsibilities on all European manufacturers and importers to identify and manage the risks chemical substances they manufacture and market may pose to human health and to the environment.
The formation and operation of the SIEF is crucial within REACH and the registration process as it allows fellow registrants to share data on the same substance and co-operate in reducing animal tests and costs.
Supply of substances to the European market which have not been pre-registered or registered is illegal and can be summarised under REACH as “No Data – No Market.”
Mr Pollard said: “REACH is an all encompassing regulation which will impact industries throughout the world.
“Despite the fact that REACH covers nearly all products (except for food, medicine and biocides), an alarmingly high number of companies that have pre-registered (90%) haven’t formed a SIEF as they think that other people in their grouping will step up to the plate and will do the work for them or that they have plenty of time. They won’t and they don’t.
“All sorts of things that are currently on the market could potentially just disappear as if there is no data, there is no market and this applies to EU importers too
“Other firms may be putting off getting involved because they don’t have to register their substances until 2013 or later. But these companies are enjoying a false sense of security.
“The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has recently expressed great concern about this and, as their website states, the clock is ticking. Companies must form their SIEF now.”
A major challenge at present is that there are too few experts around to help facilitate this process.
Baytouch has established a global leadership position in the provision of IT solutions to help companies implement REACH Compliance, and particularly assist with SIEF formation. It is one of only a handful of companies in the EU doing this and the only one in the UK.
ECHA publicly recognises the important role Baytouch has to play in providing the communications linkage and references them on their website.
Baytouch is helping some of the major consortia in Europe – where companies have established leadership roles in SIEFs and are bearing the major part of the workload towards registration. Therefore they are bringing some incredibly important chemicals for industry into registration by the December 1 2010 deadline.
Mr Pollard added: “Companies are very anxious at the scale of the task before them to ensure fair data-sharing between in some cases hundreds and even thousands of firms that manufacture or import the same substances which must be done fairly, transparently and non-discriminatory
“As a result Baytouch has developed the software to drive this process forward safely and securely and has responded to ECHA’s call for SIEF urgency by offering companies the means of initial communication with their SIEF members for free using our industry leading REACHsuite SIEF Communication tool.
“It is in every company’s self interest to now work smarter and faster to form their SIEF and progress to REACH registration within the set deadlines.
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