UK to replicate EU chemical centre

The UK is to set up its own version of the EU chemical centre in order to help the industry prepare for legislation that will come into force over the next few years.

Part of a joint initiative between The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) and the Laboratory of the Government Chemist (LGC), an independent analytical laboratory, the UK will mirror the EU's centre with its own version of Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) (see related story).

The centre is designed to act as an independent support mechanism for this country's chemical sector in preparation for the full implementation of REACH throughout Europe, according to Dr John Marriott, LGC's Government Chemist.

"The UK centre will offer a range of chemical management support for health, safety and environmental compliance, establishing a highly credible network of technical, business and legal specialists to advise on different REACH situations," Dr Marriott stated.

The UK centre should open by late 2004, according to Judith Hackitt, director general of CIA, and will be compatible with regulatory requirements, as well as other potential future industry initiatives that could develop elsewhere in the EU.

"REACH is the single most important regulatory issue facing chemical supply and user industries today," she said. "We are seeking a unique alliance with industry partners, trade associations and government stakeholders to establish a support mechanism that will improve the UK's competitive standing."

By Jane Kettle



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