Helsinki - Problems with the initial version of the Reach-IT software have forced the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to limit use of the first production release of Reach-IT to company sign-up and online pre-registration, the agency revealed 8 May. Reach is the new European Union legislation on registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals, which comes into force 1 June 2008.
Other aspects such as notification, inquiry and registration need to be submitted initially via temporary procedures after 1 June, when the Reach regulation comes into force, ECHA said. Detailed guidance on these procedures will be published on the ECHA website during the week of 19 May.
At a Reach-IT stakeholder workshop on 7 May, ECHA executive director, Geert Dancet informed industry and member states' representatives that ECHA has taken this conservative decision, "Due to instability of the current Reach-IT version delivered by the contractor.
"The first production release of Reach-IT will only cover company sign up and online pre-registration. The chosen scope is to ensure reliability and security of the IT system when it goes live on 1 June," Dancet added.
The Helsinki-based association stressed that it will ensure that industry will be able to fulfil all obligations, in addition to pre-registration for Reach, that are enforceable on 1 June, namely PPORD (product and process oriented research and development) notification, inquiry and registration. During the initial period, these submissions need be carried out using means other than Reach-IT, ECHA added,
ECHA is encouraging companies to continue these preparations in the IUCLID 5 software, which will also support the temporary procedures.