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Turkey to pass REACH-like law this year

Turkey expects to pass into law a modified version of REACH in the fourth quarter of this year, according to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation on Friday.

The country has been aligning its chemical regulatory system with the EU’s chemicals regulations since its membership negotiations began in 2005. The final stage in this process – implementing the REACH-type regulation – has been delayed from an initial end of 2015 deadline. The delay was due to elections last November that resulted in changes in ministerial responsibilities.

But the ministry says the new regulation will come into force in the last quarter of this year. It has the acronym KKDIK, which stands for chemicals registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction in Turkish.

“It is envisaged that the draft KKDIK regulation will be published in the final quarter of 2016,” the ministry, which is designated as the competent authority for the law, said in a statement to Chemical Watch.

A draft version of KKDIK has been available for some time. It has an initial registration window for existing substances, running from 31 December 2015 to 31 December 2018. Registration is required for substances manufactured or imported in volumes over 1 tonne/year. Registration will be a mandatory requirement as the no data, no market rule is incorporated in KKDIK in the same way as in the EU.

Chemical industry experts in Turkey said any further delays from the end of this year would trigger amendments in the draft legislation, causing even more delays.

“If there are more delays we would need an amendment as the current draft legislation contains quite a lot of dates which would then have to change,” says Melih Babayigit, founder of consultant CRAD.

The draft legislation is almost a mirror image of the EU regulation, albeit with minor changes to reflect the character of the local industry. However, many firms say the infrastructure to enable them to comply with the new law is still insufficient. Many cite a shortage of competent staff to manage the compliance burden as the main problem.

However, the ministry says it is dealing with this issue: “As the competent authority, we have organised seminars to educate the sector about their responsibilities in places where there is a high concentration of chemicals companies.”

It has also set up a chemicals helpdesk for industry participants to consult for any compliance problems they may encounter.

Turkey’s chemical exports totaled $14bn in 2015, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology. The EU was the biggest recipient of Turkish exports, with $5.3bn.