North American companies may miss REACH deadline

Despite a Nov. 30 deadline, many business leaders appear lax about taking steps to comply with the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals legislation, or REACH, according to a survey released March 11 by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

04/15/2008


Despite a Nov. 30 deadline, many business leaders appear lax about taking steps to comply with the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals legislation, or REACH , according to a survey released March 11 by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Titled “ Waking up to REACH ,” the report indicates that two-thirds of North American organizations have limited knowledge of the operational impacts the European Union legislation could have on their businesses. There is also concern that North American companies will miss important REACH deadlines, consequently suffering disruptions in business.

REACH became law on June 1, 2007, to streamline and improve the former legislative framework on chemicals in the EU. REACH places greater responsibility on the industry to manage the risks that chemicals may pose to health and the environment. It applies to all chemicals %%MDASSML%% those used in industrial processes as well as in products such as cleansers, paints and appliances %%MDASSML%% meaning upstream and downstream in the chemicals supply chain.

“REACH ensures that the industry maintains some accountability in improving the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals,” said Saverio Fato, global leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers Chemicals practice. “That being said, U.S. companies that are facing these new regulations do not appear to be on track for compliance.”

The clock begins ticking on June 1 for companies to begin REACH pre-registration, which provides manufacturers and exporters of chemicals to Europe six months to complete the process. In anticipation of the deadline, PricewaterhouseCoopers surveyed 241 senior executives across six industries in 29 countries to gauge readiness and reaction to REACH. The survey showed that two in five companies appear to have limited awareness of the regulation, and one in four executives feels Europe's newest rules on chemicals and their safe use will have no impact on their business.

For more information and to access the full report, visit: www.pwc.com/chemicals .





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