REACH is world’s strictest chemical law, for any business in European Union either large or small.From the starting itself, one of the main concern was how SME’s (Small and medium enterprises) could adapt to the Regulation.
After all, almost 27,600 companies in EU market are SMEs (95% of all firms). Already seven years are over after the implementation many of these fears are still hanging around. Assuming no significant changes are introduced to REACH.
SMEs importance in European Union (EU)
Around 25,000 REACH registrations have already been submitted. By the 31 May 2013, 3,215 companies submitted 9,084 registration dossiers to ECHA. Since the start of REACH in 2008, a total of 6,598 substances have been registered. For the 2010 and 2013 REACH registration deadlines, the amount of dossiers submitted by SMEs amounted to 14% and 20%, respectively
The strictness of the regulation can only be justified, if the benefits are impressive and outplay the costs by a large margin. But ECHA is speaking about health and environmental benefits, And the increase in job opportunities which is not convincing SME’s than its problems. The 2013 REACH Review also tells about benefits which will be effective in only ten to twenty years and acknowledges that the benefits for SME’s do not seem to compensate the costs for the process to get compliant. In general, it is expected that larger companies will have more options and ways available to comply with regulatory demands in comparison to small ones.
Now the REACH has taken its Role on SMEs, which is of serious concern because SMEs are the backbone of the economy, and it is important to have the right balancing conditions to get the economy moving again by helping SMEs.
The 2013-2018 deadline means that REACH is highly going to affect on SME now..
Submitting quality dossiers is a significant resource cost for SME
EFFECTS IN MARKET
It is not a surprise that REACH is the Number One most burdensome legislation, and for that reason, In the most recent REACH review, ECHA decided to go much wider to work on all aspects.
Regarding safety,ECHA stated that they are trying to reduce costs but safety is key. But that doesn’t mean that they can do more.
SMEs are provided with various sources of support to comply with REACH.
Commission actions already started
ECHA say that the European Parliament impact assessment showed that REACH threatens SME more because of costs which are too high. The costs are upstream as well as downstream, which will be applicable also for bigger organizations. Overall, costs were underestimated by half.
Tips for SMEs supplying chemicals to Europe
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) benefit from fee reductions under both the REACH and CLP Regulations, depending on their size as a medium-sized, small or micro enterprise. Before declaring an SME size category in REACH-IT, companies need to make sure that they are familiar with the relevant SME definitions. The EU Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC is the sole authentic basis for determining the conditions regarding qualification as micro, small or medium-sized enterprise. For Only Representatives (ORs), the pertinent assessment of whether the fee reduction for SMEs applies shall be determined by the relevant data of the enterprise that is represented by that OR. The EU Commission has informed ECHA that it amended the REACH fee regulation and asked for immediate introduction of the new fees, which will benefit SMEs. The changes have come into effect on 22 March 2013.
REACH is widely regarded as serious concern for SMEs. Although the registration process is still going on, there are already indications that SME’s arguments are correct.
In terms complying with it, SMEs typically have needed to work for years; Larger SMEs may need to use even more resources.
Since full REACH implementation takes no less than 11 years until the end of 2018, It is impossible to
Alter or redesign REACH regulation now.So ECHA had the following recommendations
This means concentrate on large users because risk is not such an issue for SMEs