February 2008

EU legislation may catch many companies unprepared

Many small- and medium-sized enterprises selling in the European Union (EU) could be caught off-guard by the recently implemented Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulations requiring registration and approval of chemicals used in manufacturing. 

PR Newswire reported Kline, a worldwide consulting and research firm, has released an advisory on the perils these companies face.

REACH is a wide-ranging set of EU legislation intended to manage and control the risks to human health and the environment from the use of chemicals.

Many affected companies may be unaware the REACH legislation applies to them. For example, Kline's research shows that smaller companies in the recycled paper, secondary raw materials, and metalworking fluids industries are largely unaware of the REACH requirements.

"REACH will impact all EU manufacturers and downstream users of chemicals as well as importers of chemicals into the EU," said Nancy Mills, FlashPoint project manager for Kline. 

The newly published report, REACH: A Regulatory Behemoth, reviews the scope of this legislation, outlines its impact on businesses, and offers companies strategies to prepare for compliance.

"It's important to act now to avoid future costs and the potential disruption of production and distribution," said Mills. "Small- and medium-sized enterprises are going to be the most affected, since the cost of registering the chemicals used in a company's processes will be more deeply felt by them. Larger companies not only have more resources but higher volumes, which will enable them to lower the cost per ton of registering a chemical."

Among the recommendations provided in the report, Kline suggests smaller organizations offering the same chemical should consider jointly pre-registering that chemical to reduce the cost per volume.

See the 47-page report athttp://www.klinegroup.com/reports/f0703.asp.