Helsinki, Finland -- The new European Commission visited the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki on 25 March as part of their efforts to ensure the registration of chemicals and substances of very high concern by the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) deadline of 30 Nov 2010.
Making the visit was Antonio Tajani, vice-president and commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and Janez Potocnik, commissioner for Environment.
The EC representatives discussed the following issues with ECHA and stakeholders:
• The first REACH deadline and how to make it easier for enterprises, particularly SMEs (small & medium sized enterprises);
• A contact group chaired by the Commission to monitor the industry's preparedness and implement solutions;
• Criteria for the identification of persistent bioaccumulative and toxic substances;
• Roadmap for the identification of substances of very high concern, and;
• Guidelines for authorisation.
"REACH is a key example of balance-striking between the three pillars of sustainable development: competitiveness, social and environment. REACH ensures a high level of protection of human health and the environment, while also playing an important role to encourage innovation, foster competitiveness and better enable enterprises meet essential demands of consumers," the commissioners said in a joint statement.
"These announcements are extremely welcome. Taken with the vice-president and commissioner's visit here today, they signal that the Commission and ECHA stand side-by-side in making REACH work to the benefit of European citizens and our environment" said Geert Dancet, executive director of ECHA.
For more information visit: http://echa.europa.eu/news/press_en.asp (RD)