05 Nov 2009

Is REACH going well?

Ineke Gubbels-van Hal / Jacques Pelkmans

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This CEPS Policy Brief discusses the milestones of the new EU Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) and the difficulties of its implementation. In a reader-friendly, non-technical fashion, the authors sketch out the main properties and ensuing obligations of REACH and survey its present status. They demonstrate that the Regulation suffers from overly ambitious deadlines and a number of technical and administrative uncertainties that are placing a higher burden of implementation for companies and for the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki than originally expected. Moreover, their analysis attempts to look one or two years ahead to discuss crucial issues for the short run and also comprises some reflections on the complicated cost/benefit structure of REACH which can only be appreciated when assuming a long-run perspective.

Ineke Gubbels-van Hal is Director of the Advisory Group Chemical and Process Industry, Royal Haskoning. Jacques Pelkmans is Senior Fellow at CEPS and Jan Tinbergen Chair at the College of Europe, where he directs the Economic Studies Department