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ECHA Executive Director Urges European Commission to Finalise REACH Annex Revisions for Nanomaterials

Today, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety of the European Parliament hosted Mr Geert Dancet, Executive Director of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), for a presentation and discussion on chemical safety regulation progress (begins at 2:25:00). During the session, Mr Dancet urged the European Commission to finalise annexes specific to nanomaterials under the 'Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals' regulation -- commonly known as REACH -- and eliminate the 'headaches' related to this issue.

Mr Dancet noted that “ECHA continues to analyse dossiers for substances in the nanoform,” however, without a REACH annex specific to nanomaterials, ECHA often has to request additional information from companies. These ad-hoc requests are appealed at a much higher rate than other substances (40% versus 5%), which then stalls the evaluation process, places products in limbo and leaves ECHA "unable to learn more about nano." In light of these issues, Mr Dancet once again asked the European Commission to finalise the REACH Annexes, "so that we can effectively implement REACH and reduce legal uncertainties"
Mr Klaus Berend from the European Commission Directorate General on Industry (DG GROW), attending the presentation, reacted to Mr Dancet, "the Commission is working very intensely on finalising the impact assessment to prepare a proposal for amending the REACH annexes with regards to nanomaterials."  He explained that the process had not been easy to conduct, but the EC plans to finish the work on this impact assessment ‘by the end of the year.' This would be immediately followed by a Commission proposal to amend REACH annexes.
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