An EU-wide REACH enforcement project has also found that 15 % of almost 1 200 chemicals needing registration did not comply with at least one registration-related duty.
ECHA Forum’s seventh REACH enforcement project checked how well companies comply with registration obligations after the last registration deadline of 31 May 2018. In addition, enforcement authorities from 28 EEA countries checked if substances registered as intermediates met the definition and if they were used under strictly controlled conditions.
A valid registration was completely missing for 77 out of 1 193 (6.5 %) inspected substances needing a registration. 180 (15 %) of the substances were non-compliant with at least one of the registration-related obligations checked in the scope of the project. This includes the duty to register but also, for example, the duty to update the dossier, use intermediates under strictly controlled conditions, submit correct tonnage information or comply with requirements for only representatives.
Inspectors also checked if companies had systems in place to ensure that they update their registration in a timely manner. Fewer than half of the companies inspected had a system in place to track and manage changes in tonnage bands (46 %) and uses (39 %) of the substances they registered.
Checks related to substances registered as isolated intermediates showed that 85 % were intermediates as defined by REACH and 80 % of checked companies managed them under strictly controlled conditions as required by the regulation.
Imported substances were also controlled as part of the project, with enforcement authorities cooperating closely with customs.
When inspectors found companies breaching any of the duties checked in the project, they took enforcement measures to address the non-compliance. Written advice and administrative orders were the most frequent measures used. Fines, administrative orders and, in some cases, referrals for criminal prosecution were issued by inspectors to companies who failed to register substances.
Based on these findings, the Forum has made several recommendations to companies such as to regularly verify their compliance with registration duties and to keep registration dossiers updated and synchronised with actual company operations, for example through appropriate tracking systems to monitor quantities and uses.
The REACH-EN-FORCE-7 (REF-7) project is the latest in a series of three Forum enforcement projects focusing on registration duties after a registration deadline. The first two projects were finalised in 2010 (REF-1) and 2014 (REF-3).
Inspections for REF-7 targeted manufacturers, importers and only representatives with an obligation to register at least one chemical. The scope included all sectors of industry and all company sizes.
The inspections took place during 2019. The checks were carried out in 813 companies in the EEA. Out of the 1 420 substances inspected during the project, 227 were exempt from registration. So, registration duties were checked for 1 193 substances. As some of the substances were registered jointly by several companies, the inspections covered 952 different substances in total.
More than two thirds (71 %) of the checked substances were classified as hazardous according to the CLP Regulation.
An intermediate is defined as a substance that is manufactured for chemical processing to be transformed into another substance.