EU Commission launches major REACH impacts study

A study that aims to evaluate the impact of REACH on the operational conditions and structure of chemical and downstream industries has been launched by the European Commission’s industry directorate, DG Growth.

An extensive survey has been launched to provide information for the study, which is being jointly prepared by the Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services (CSES), Risk & Policy Analysts and Ökopol. The project’s aim, says the survey, is to “remedy any weaknesses identified during the study with a view to minimising possible adverse effects of the REACH implementation and to maximise the impacts of specific REACH mechanisms which improve conditions for businesses.”

The survey consists of nearly 90 questions in 12 sections including:

  • the single market and harmonisation;
  • registration from the perspective of chemical companies, and downstream users, distributors and suppliers;
  • business opportunities and innovation;
  • Siefs and consortia;
  • impacts on formulators and article suppliers;
  • human resources and consultants;
  • candidate list substances, substances of very high concern, authorisations and restrictions;
  • the 2018 REACH registration deadline; and
  • support structures.

The survey, which is available in eight European languages, is open until 10 March. The three consultants will provide a set of recommendations to DG Growth in June, based on the survey results and additional information that will be gathered through more in-depth interviews. The aim is to provide insights on the impacts of REACH on market structure, consumer choice and prosperity, as well as examine compliance costs and administrative procedures.

CSES’s Jan Smit says the questionnaire is mainly qualitative. The consultants aim to pick up more quantitative data via the in-depth interviews that it hopes companies responding to the survey will agree to give.

According to REACH Article 117(4), the Commission must produce a review of how the Regulation is working every five years. The first was due on 1 June 2012, but was actually published eight months late in February 2013, so the second review should be expected by early 2018.

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