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Europe's Reach Program to Be Put to the Test

July 19, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 29

The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) and the European Commission's Joint Research Center, in Italy, will launch a joint project to test the workability of the proposed chemicals registration regime that is wending its way through the European Union (EU).

The partnership is being set up to test-run the EC's proposed Registration, Evaluation & Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) program. CEFIC--which in principle supports the aims of REACH, although with reservations about some of the current details--sees the effort as a comprehensive, EU-wide exercise that it has dubbed the Strategic Partnership on REACH Testing (SPORT).

SPORT will involve manufacturers and importers, as well as downstream users, and it will be facilitated by independent consultants. A steering committee consisting of the main stakeholders will manage SPORT, with other groups, including nongovernmental organizations and trade unions, participating as advisers and observers.

The project builds on an earlier test sponsored by Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia state government. SPORT will test up to 15 substances or categories of substances, as agreed by the steering committee. For each substance, there will be one manufacturer or importer committed to leading the effort, either individually or through voluntary industry consortia, to examine procedures for preregistration, generate a registration dossier, review the registration package for completeness, and communicate relevant information down the supply chain.

The aim is to publish a final report in mid-2005, with interim findings reported as they become available. REACH itself is not expected to be implemented until 2007 at the earliest.


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