UK Chooses HSE to Enforce REACH

As the Regulation, Evaluation & Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) draws to a close, the legislation has called for governments to set up an institution that will monitor and enforce compliance. This institution will be known as the Competent Authority (CA).

Although many governments may have known about the CA for quite some time, it was not until recently that CAs have been announced. The UK announced yesterday that the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has been chosen to enforce European moves to regulate the chemical industry.

The HSE has set up a help desk to give advice and answer the queries of those companies still confused by the legislation. The regulating body will also inform businesses how the legislation will affect them.

In addition to providing a help-desk and ensuring compliance, the CA also will evaluate questioned substances that will then be shared with the European Chemicals Agency in Finland, where the questioned substance will be cataloged and monitored.

"A key challenge for the HSE will be to ensure that we have fully joined up implementation and enforcement of the regulation. This means that need for close cooperation with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Environment Agency, devolved administrations and other relevant government departments," said Steve Elliot, chief executive officer of HSE, in a prepared statement.

The help desk of the HSE can be reached by calling 0845-4089575 or e-mailing

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