REACH and Beyond - Challenges and Options for Improvements

The conference, organised by eight EU Member Statesand Norway, aims to refocus Europe’s attention on the safe use of chemicals and at the same time ensure transparency, innovation and competitiveness for the European Chemical sector and in particular SMEs.


The event will bring together high level representatives from the EU Member States, the European Parliament and the European Commission, as well as industry associations and consumers and environmental organisations.  


The meeting will take place at Stanhope Hotel - Brussel October 20 th.


Stakeholders with an interest in the REACH Regulation are invited to actively participate to discuss and develop policy responses to identified shortcomings in the current implementation of REACH and to initiate thinking beyond REACH and thereby contribute to Europe’s future chemicals policy. This is an opportunity to interact and engage directly with regulators on how the operation of REACH can be improved.


The aim of the conference is to:

  • Discuss the need for action and possible solutions on how to improve the operation of REACH and to initiate thinking beyond REACH on the future chemicals policy;

  • Identify the main challenges for an effective and efficient operation of REACH; how to ensure that appropriate information on the hazards of chemicals is made available for operators and how to address the uncertainties on safe use of endocrine disruptors and nanomaterials;

  • Discuss political responses to the uncertainties felt by both consumers and business, including SMEs, on the effects of regulatory initiatives on control and phasing-out the use of substances of concern, and how to handle substances of concern in articles imported to the EU;

  • Provide guidance and recommendations for the European Commission and the European Parliament to improve the operation of REACH as well as stimulating growth for Europe and its citizens.


Background/Current challenges


REACH has now been in operation since 2007, being a landmark as regards the regulation of chemicals. The 7th Environment Action Programme calls on the Commission to develop, by 2018, a Union strategy for a non-toxic environment that is conducive to innovation and the development of sustainable substitutes including non-chemical solutions, building on horizontal measures. This should be done while being mindful to the specific needs of SMEs (including reducing costs).


Any progress in safe use of chemicals requires reliable information on the hazards of chemicals, and REACH registrations serve that purpose. Experience to date shows, however, that the information provided in registration dossiers is often incomplete or inadequate, which makes it difficult for downstream users and SMEs to take informed decisions on safe use.


The current REACH requirements do not prevent substances of concern to enter the EU through imported articles. This causes health and environmental concerns as well as competitive disadvantages for European industry and, in particular, SMEs.



Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway and Sweden

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