The European Commission may establish a registration system for polymers under REACH regulations


Source: Ministry of Commerce

The European Commission plans to review the EU's chemical regulatory system and may make recommendations to establish a registration system for polymers under the chemical registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction regulation (REACH regulation).

When the European Commission reviews the chemical regulatory regulations, it mainly focuses on "reducing the burden and simplifying the procedures", and then it may revise the REACH regulations that have been implemented for 10 years. The European Commission will also consider whether the reach regulation can effectively deal with new problems, such as the cumulative effect of nano materials, chemicals (also known as cocktail effect), endocrine disruptors and so on. The Commission's review will focus on 2010-2016.

In addition, the Commission will assess the need to require the registration of certain types of polymers. The European Chemicals authority (ECHA) recommends that the relevant registration responsibilities should be considered.

The chemicals and plastics industry has reacted coldly to the polymer registration system. The European Union chemicals Federation (Cefic) believes that there is no need for the authorities to establish a registration system because the monomer chemicals used to make polymers have to be registered, and polymers are also relatively inert chemicals. At present, polymers do not need to be registered under REACH regulations.

Marco Mensink, director general of the European Union chemicals Federation, said: "the establishment of a registration system for polymers will increase regulatory costs, but it is not effective in improving regulatory quality."

On the other hand, under REACH regulations, importers and producers must register chemicals. The European Chemicals Agency issued a report on May 25, 2016, requesting the European Commission to clearly specify that companies producing or importing chemicals have the responsibility to update the characteristics, uses and hazards of chemicals on the registration documents. This is the second time that ECHA has published a report on REACH regulations and the classification, labelling and packaging regulations (CLP regulations).

The European Chemicals Agency said: "the formulation of an implementation regulation can ensure that manufacturers and importers can regularly report the use of chemicals. Therefore, we should discuss when to update the information, including the need to update the information regularly within a limited time." this problem aroused concern because many companies failed to update the registration documents in accordance with the REACH regulations.

Geert dancet, executive director of the European Chemicals Agency, clarified that there was no need to rush to amend the reach regulation, but believed that "improvements should be made". Overall, when the plug shows that the reach regulation and CLP regulation "will certainly make Europe safer".

On the other hand, the European Chemicals Administration (ECHA), as the regulatory body to inspect the implementation of the reach regulation, recently issued a warning, saying that the reach regulation failed to achieve the preset purpose and could not enable suppliers to provide consumers with sufficient information to explain that their goods contained substances of high concern, especially those imported from abroad to the EU.

According to chapter 33 of REACH regulations, if the concentration of substances of great concern contained in the articles is higher than 0.1%, the supplier must provide sufficient information to the consignee (including industrial users and distributors) to ensure that the articles can be used safely. The manufacturer and supplier shall at least provide the consignee with the name of the substance concerned.

Similarly, suppliers of goods are responsible for responding to consumer inquiries about whether products contain substances of high concern. However, so far, few companies can meet this requirement. Suppliers should provide information to consumers free of charge within 45 days after receiving inquiries.

Since few companies comply with the regulations, the competent authorities of EU Member States must strengthen law enforcement to ensure that consumers know that products contain substances of high concern and that suppliers provide relevant information.