EEB and WWF critical evaluation of REACH Impact Assessment


Courtesy of European Environmental Bureau

REACH has been designed to establish a more uniform, more transparent and safer management of chemicals in the European Union. Unacceptable chemicals are to be identified and gradually substituted for safer alternatives, implementing the precautionary principle. At the same time REACH should enhance the functioning of Europe’s internal market, creates a level playing field, fosters innovation and increases the competitiveness of businesses.

REACH requires manufacturers and importers to register and provide safety information – within 11 years – on approximately 30,000 existing chemical substances which have been on the market for more than 25 years. Moreover, manufacturers and importers – acting together with downstream users – must analyse and communicate the use-related risks entailed by their substances. The Commission estimates that these requirements will cost companies a total of around 2.3 billion euros during the 11-year implementation period. Further expenses for industry caused by these costs are judged by the Commission to be ”very limited”, whereas REACH will contribute to significant business benefits such as enhanced innovation, improved worker safety and enhanced competitiveness of the chemical industry, as well as significant health cost savings.

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