Last week was a milestone in Europe’s progress towards safe management of chemicals. The European Chemicals Agency celebrated their 10 year anniversary in implementing the EU’s regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).
We at Eurometaux warmly congratulate the ECHA team for their progress in the last decade. We have visited Helsinki on a monthly basis for longer than we care to admit. ECHA should be praised for their continued receptiveness to new challenges, and their openness to discussing the specific technical issues faced by different sectors.
Where are we today?
Today over 15,000 substances have been registered with REACH. ECHA has also successfully started their longer-term evaluation and risk management activities, and invested into making use of REACH data.
Going forward, the non-ferrous metals industry looks forward to continue its work with ECHA and other stakeholders to make REACH a success.
Overall we promote a common long-term objective: establishing a risk-controlled environment, where hazardous substances are used without harm to human health or the environment. Europe’s extensive knowledge on chemicals should be applied fully. Science and risk-driven chemicals legislation will allow the EU to achieve its sustainability objectives while safeguarding jobs and competitiveness.
Where are we headed by 2020?
All EU stakeholders are also working collectively to meet 2020 global objectives for sustainable chemicals management. By 2020, chemicals should be used and produced in ways that lead to the minimization of significant adverse effects on human health and the environment.
The progress we have made so far has only been possible thanks to unprecedented collaboration between authorities and industry, across full industrial value chains.
Our sector will be pushing to intensify that collaboration over the next years. For example, we are working with ECHA to investigate the viability of a sectorial approach for our sector. This has potential to address specific technical issues faced by the metals industry, as well as further improving data quality.
Looking back, we congratulate ECHA for their impressive progress in the last decade. Looking forward, we commit to continuing our collaboration, and further strengthening the REACH Regulation to enable a risk-controlled environment in Europe.