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Reject ‘poor’ REACH dossiers, Denmark tells EU Commission

Echa should refuse to grant a registration number to companies that are “clearly not providing relevant or sufficient information” in their REACH registration dossier, the Danish environment ministry says.

Responding to the European Commission’s consultation on the REACH Review, it says the current practice of leaving enforcement in such cases to the member states is “inefficient”.

Other member state submissions to the consultation also highlight poor dossier quality.

The Swedish Chemicals Agency (Kemi) says improving them “is the single most important factor that can positively impact the whole performance of REACH”.

Dossiers with insufficient or bad quality data or poor chemicals safety assessment will, it says, “undermine all REACH objectives”. To combat this, Echa could do more compliance checks and extend its support, alongside member state competent authorities, to registrants.

The Danish EPA says registrants submitting high quality data should be rewarded for fulfilling their obligations, instead of being “targeted more frequently by regulatory measures” because their dossiers rely on solid evidence based on high quality data. “‘No data – no market’ has become ‘No data – no regulation”, it says.

Echoing Echa’s proposal last year that firms should take “active ownership” of dossiers and that registrant obligations should be reinforced, the Danish agency calls for an implementing act to oblige registrants to update their dossier every five years, as a minimum.

In its submission, the German Environment Agency (UBA) also says improvements within REACH are needed to assure data quality in registrations, and that the regulatory process in general needs to speed up.

Meanwhile, the Dutch government says although REACH moved the burden of proof to industry to demonstrate the safety of chemicals, because of deficiencies in registration dossiers, there is pressure to pass this to public authorities.

What might help, it says, is if the Commission analyses the degree to which problems with limited data can be solved with additional clarifications or implementing legislation.

Substitution pressure

The Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden have also called for a review of the REACH authorisation process. “The fact that all applications for authorisation have been granted so far suggests that pressure for substitution could be greater,” the Netherlands says.

“Generous authorisations of broad and unspecific uses” of substances risk the “positive effect” of the candidate list, Kemi says. And to avoid ‘regrettable substitution’, grouping approaches should be used, the Netherlands and Denmark say.