REACH: Commission welcomes European Parliament vote on new EU chemicals legislation

Tuesday 19 December 2006

With the agreement of the European Parliament today, the REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) comes near to final adoption. The European Commission welcomes this vote which brings to an end over three years’ negotiations on a comprehensive reform of manufacturing, marketing, import and use of chemical substances. The compromise reached between Council and Parliament will improve health and environment while safeguarding innovation and competitiveness. The Council is expected to finally adopt the package at the Environment Council on 18 December, so that REACH can enter into force on 1 June 2007.)

Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen responsible for enterprise and industry policy, said: “I welcome the end to a long period of uncertainty which has hung over these negotiations. This compromise is good for health and environment, while keeping European businesses competitive and encouraging innovation. It is very important that the final agreement also takes into account the special situation of the SMEs. In addition, replacing over 40 legislative instruments with a one single regulation is yet another practical example of Better Regulation and cutting red tape in Europe. Another positive aspect is that every effort has been made under REACH to reduce animal testing to the absolute minimum.”

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