MEP looks for compromise within REACH
New laws to regulate chemicals within the EU will be workable for SMEs despite industry concerns, according to REACH rapporteur Guido Sacconi.The Italian socialist MEP, who is leading discussions on the REACH regulations, has claimed that big business arguments against the proposals are invalid and a compromise can be reached to overcome the latest impasse.
Under current proposals small businesses importing or producing less than 10 tonnes of a chemical each year will not be charged for data registered in the first 11 years after REACH comes into force.
In what is a minor victory for industry Sacconi wants to see this period extended to 13 years and wants the whole REACH programme reviewed after six years to see if it is working.
The proposed compromise is an effort to rebut industry claims, led by the European Chemicals Industry Council (CEFIC), that REACH would be impossible to operate and could potentially drive smaller firms out of business.
Sacconi argues that by changing the regulations for those using less than 10 tonnes of a particular chemical every year, REACH would protect the vast majority of small operators.
By Sam Bond