…Imminent launch for updated REACH-IT

Although the planned launch of the new version of REACH-IT was slightly postponed to enable further testing of the system (ECHA News Alert ECHA/NA/10/09 of 19 March 2010), everything is now evidently looking rosy. There will be a temporary REACH-IT shut-down between 22 March, 17:00 EET (Eastern European Time) until 25 March, 9:00 EET (ECHA/NA/10/11, dated 22 March), to enable data to be backed up and migrated to the new system, after which the revised version of REACH-IT will be open for business. Industry may continue to submit and update dossiers prepared with IUCLID versions 5.0 and 5.1 while the current version of REACH-IT is still available, but as soon as REACH-IT re-opens, companies should use the new IUCLID 5.2 format.

…New group formed to tackle industry concerns over REACH deadline

A high level contact group has been set up to address concerns expressed by industry about meeting the 30 November 2010 deadline under REACH for the registration of chemicals that are in the higher tonnage bands and/or are deemed the most hazardous. The Directors’ Contact Group consists of Director-level representatives from the EC, ECHA and various industry associations (CEFIC, Eurométaux, REACH Alliance, Concawe, FECC and UEAPME) and aims to identify the priority issues of concern related to the deadline and, hopefully, to develop practical solutions that can be implemented before June. It is intended that the group will also address concerns over the potential disruption of supplies of high-volume substances to downstream users if the deadline cannot be met. Visit on the Environment Directorate-General website for further information.

…Progress in evaluating REACH registration dossiers

ECHA has issued a report describing its progress in evaluating REACH registration dossiers in 2009. Only a small proportion of registration dossiers have been evaluated – during 2009 ECHA received 406 complete registration dossiers, and initiated an evaluation on 35 of these. Compliance checks were concluded on 14 of the 27 undertaken and, of eight examinations of testing proposals, one decision has been taken. The report also identifies the most commonly occurring problems, and provides recommendations to help registrants improve the quality of their dossiers. The report, which is entitled “Evaluation under REACH, Progress Report 2009”, is obtainable at http://echa.europa.eu/doc/progress_report_2009.pdf on the ECHA website. {184445}

…Draft guidance documents published

As part of the consultation process when ECHA updates or develops important new guidance documentation, discussions take place with a PEG (Partner Expert Group) composed of experts from stakeholders, interested parties, the European Commission and Member State competent authorities, followed by discussions by ECHA Committees and/or the Forum, and a concluding consultation with the European Commission and Member State competent authorities. To ensure transparency, drafts at various stages of the procedure are made available on the ECHA website (via http://guidance.echa.europa.eu/guidance4_en.htm). The latest documents to enter this process (in February or March 2010) are draft guidances on information requirements and chemical safety assessment: a draft of a new Chapter B.8 (Scope of exposure assessment), for inclusion in Part B – Hazard assessment, and a revision of Chapter R.18 – Estimation of exposure from waste life stage. {181232; 181254}

…Appealing against ECHA decisions

A new publication, “Practice Directions to parties to appeal proceedings before the Board of Appeal of the European Chemicals Agency”, is intended to help companies and their representatives prepare appeals against certain ECHA decisions in the most effective way. It includes specific rules, as well as templates and a check list, to enable appellants to ensure that they submit the information necessary for their appeal in due time. The document (dated 8 March 2010) is located at http://echa.europa.eu/doc/appeals/appeals_practice_directions_20100308.pdf on the internet.

…ECHA’s proposed 2-year work plan

An overview of ECHA’s planned activities for 2011-2013 is published in a draft document (open to public comment until 9 May 2010). Further details are given in a press release (ECHA/PR/10/04) dated 12 March 2010.

…ECHA consults on substances of very high concern

Member State competent authorities and ECHA may prepare Annex XV dossiers for substances of very high concern as defined in Article 57 of the REACH regulation. These include substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction (CMR), persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT), or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB). The latest batch of dossiers, all dated February 2010, cover the following compounds: boric acid, disodium tetraborate, tetraboron disodium heptaoxide, sodium and potassium chromate, ammonium and potassium dichromate and trichloroethylene, all of which are proposed as CMR chemicals. These reports (plus ‘commenting forms’ for submission by 22 April 2010) can be obtained from the ECHA website (by visiting . {184510-16}

The above items were taken from the April 2010 issue of Toxicology and Regulatory News which is sent automatically to members of bibra (click here for more details).

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