REACH Update: Pre-registration

By Sept. 15, 2008, a total of 352,641 pre-registrations were received by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Of these registrations, the greatest number—141,185—were submitted by German entities. In a Sept. 19 news alert, the ECHA noted that some of these pre-registrations may not be valid, primarily because phase-in obligations were not fulfilled, or the Only Representative status did not comply with provisions of the REACH regulation.

In addition, the ECHA discovered that two companies pre-registered the entire European Commission (EC) inventory, which is a practice that is not in accordance with pre-registration and that makes participation in SIEFs unmanageable. As a result, the ECHA has requested that companies pre-register only the substances they intend to register, and to restrict the number of substances submitted in bulk pre-registration files to 10,000. Companies that have to pre-register more than 10,000 substances should contact the ECHA help desk for approval.

In a case where the ECHA doubts the validity of a submitted pre-registration, the companies concerned will be contacted for clarification. Pre-registration submissions can be deleted from record by sending a request via registered mail to the ECHA. Retracted pre-registrations and the pre-registrations submitted by the two companies covering the entire EC inventory will not be included in the intermediate list of pre-registered substances, which was anticipated to be published in October.

Meanwhile, REACH-IT reportedly is limiting access on occasion due to either an overload or lingering technical difficulties. Pre-registrants should build these potential barriers into their submission schedule. Questions that frequently appear asking how to use the REACH-IT system are now addressed under a new link that was recently added to the ECHA Web site.

Successfull submissions via REACH-IT are indicated by the assignment of an individual pre-registration number for a substance. There is no legal requirement to communicate this pre-registration number within the supply chain. and the provision of the number by a supplier does not guarantee future compliance with REACH or continuity of supply.

Downstream users are advised to contact their suppliers as soon as possible, and well before the end of the pre-registration period, to learn how their suppliers plan to manage REACH registration, as well as their supply chain. Downstream users may also wish to make appropriate contractual arrangements with their suppliers to ensure that all REACH provisions are met. This concerns substances that have not been registered and that are manufactured or imported in quantities of at least 1 ton per year, per manufacturer or importer.

For additional REACH Q&A, visit C&T magazine’s 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.

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