CHEM Trust has received a response to the letter that we sent to Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on 19th September 2023. The response, which comes jointly from the relevant Directors in DG Environment and DG Grow, reaffirms the Commission’s commitment to revising the main EU chemicals law REACH:
“As we said in the plenary of the European Parliament last year, the Commission will propose a targeted revision of REACH with the aim of securing European competitive advantages and innovation by promoting sustainable chemicals, simplifying and streamlining the regulatory process, reducing burden, and protecting human health and the environment.” …
“The revision of the REACH Regulation is a very important initiative, which needs sufficient time to be prepared and discussed, by continuing to engage with all relevant parties. Therefore, the Commission came to the conclusion that such an initiative should not be presented at the end of a Commission mandate.
Please rest assured that, while continuing to work on the REACH revision, the Commission keeps its commitment to protect human health and the environment through the continuous implementation of the existing REACH regulation.”
Dr Michael Warhurst, Executive Director of CHEM Trust, said:
“CHEM Trust welcomes the fact that the Commission has confirmed that the revision of REACH is a very important initiative, and that the Commission is continuing to work on it. The current law was an important step forward when it came into force over 15 years ago, but it has proved not to offer sufficient protection to our health and the environment, as we have seen from worrying contamination of people and ecosystems. We need to see a proposal for a modernised, protective, REACH very early in the term of the next Commission.”
CHEM Trust key priorities for modernising REACH are outlined in our blog published in October 2021, one year after the Commission published its Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.
Revision of EU law on Classification and Labelling of Chemicals
In addition, last night the European Parliament, Member States and the European Commission reached a provisional agreement on the revision of the EU law on classification, labelling and packaging of hazardous chemicals. This agreement has been welcomed by EU consumers representatives BEUC, and is the first major change to EU chemicals legislation delivered from the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.
Note that the annex of this law was amended in an agreement reached at the end of March 2023, bringing in important new classifications for endocrine disruption and persistent and mobile chemicals, see our blog on this amendment for more details.