Applications for 4,300 chemical products were submitted for classification to allow their continued use within the European Union, according to the European Chemical Agency as reported by Platts. Chemical companies submitted 24,675 registration dossiers by yesterday's deadline for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals program, also known as REACH. The Europe-wide REACH program was implemented in June 2007 as a register governing the use of chemicals within the trading bloc with a view to protecting public health and the environment. Chemicals which will be traded or sold in the EU had to be submitted for approval and comply to labeling and packaging norms by the end of November.
The final number of registrations and substances will be available in the coming weeks after the dossiers have been processed, ECHA said on its website. The Agency has to check compliance with all regulations and also control for unnecessary animal testing. Some substances could be subject to further evaluation if they are considered "substances of concern,' ECHA previously said. The regulation also calls for the progressive substitution of the most dangerous chemicals when suitable alternatives have been identified. Chemicals to be traded in the EU are also required to submit compliant labeling and packaging by December 1, this year -- just one day after the deadline for the REACH registration of high-volume chemicals where chemical companies operating in Europe have to provide documents detailing risk management for as many as 9,000 chemical substances in order to continue their manufacture and sale, according to European Union laws. Enforcement of REACH and labeling compliance will be a national responsibility, enforceable by each individual EU Member State and non-members Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The countries must ensure that there is an official system of controls and lay down legislation specifying penalties for non-compliance with the provisions of REACH.