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REACH Update: Establishing REACH Penalties
By: Annelie Struessmann, PhD, CONUSBAT
Posted: April 7, 2009
page 2 of 2
In the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has developed enforcement arrangements, acting with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Devolved Administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008 define all enforcement authorities with powers. Noncompliance penalties can include a £5,000 fine and/or up to three months imprisonment following summary conviction. An unlimited fine and/or up to two years imprisonment applies following conviction on indictment.
On Feb. 25, 2009, France agreed on its REACH enforcement laws, which include sanctions that will be applied against companies committing serious offenses under the REACH Regulation. Criminal penalties will apply for the most severe infringements, such as failure to process the registration of substances or failure to respect the prohibition of the use of certain chemicals. The exact penalties will still have to be disclosed in the final legal text, which will be published in the French Official Journal.
• Implementation of penalty rules and enforcement of the REACH provisions lies with the member states of the European Union and the European Economy Area (EEA);
• The "Forum for Exchange of Information on Enforcement" is a body of ECHA with the task to coordinate the enforcement activities;
• The forum has adopted a general enforcement strategy to be used by the member states as a framework;
• A first coordinated enforcement project of the forum will begin soon;
• The project will be targeted on preregistration, registration and safety data sheets for phase-in substances;
• The target groups for the project will include manufacturers, importers and only representatives appointed by non-EU manufacturers;
• The forum will also set up a special information system alerting inspectors in the different states about cases of non-compliance;
• Article 126 of REACH specifies that penalties implemented by the member states must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive; and
• The penalties established in larger EU countries such as Germany, France and the UK are prison terms of several months to years, or monetary penalties of up to €100,000.
Do you have further questions? Visit C&T magazine's online REACH Round Table.
*Readers are reminded that the text of the REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 is the only authentic legal reference. The information in this column does not constitute legal advice.