Companies submitted over 2 million pre-registrations by the deadline

03-Dec-2008 - Finland

The six-month REACH pre-registration period closed on 1 December at midnight. EU/EEA-based companies submitted well over two million pre-registrations covering more than 100,000 substances. ECHA is currently processing and verifying the validity of the remaining unprocessed files. The list of pre-registered substances will be published on the ECHA website by 1 January 2009. Companies that have failed to preregister cannot continue manufacturing or importing their substance until they have submitted a full registration dossier.

ECHA’s Executive Director Geert Dancet said: “Pre-registration was an enormous success for ECHA. We managed to upgrade the REACH-IT system continuously throughout the six month period despite the exponential growth in the number of preregistrations during the final weeks before the deadline. Having virtually all preregistrations submitted in REACH-IT will permit a timely publication of the List of Preregistered Substances and a swift start of data sharing.”

The REACH pre-registration period which started on 1 June was closed at midnight (GMT) on 1 December. Half of the submissions arrived during the last three weeks. The rapid increase in the number of concurrent users during peak hours from less than 2,000 until October to over 4,000 in late November forced ECHA to add capacity to the REACH-IT system and increase its speed several times. Pre-registration via web form was enabled as a back-up procedure to ensure that even in the unlikely event of a last-minute unavailability of REACH-IT companies could continue their submissions.

For the last two weeks of the pre-registration period (17 November - 1 December) ECHA offered enhanced helpdesk assistance to companies that still needed help with their preregistrations. Companies located in the EU/EEA submitted about 2,500 pre-registration related questions. ECHA’s helpdesk resolved them in time by email or by phone so that companies could pre-register by the deadline.

The current statistics show that ECHA received over 2.2 million pre-registrations from companies manufacturing in or importing chemicals to the EU and EEA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). ECHA received about fifteen times more pre-registrations than expected. This was mainly caused by several companies submitting all existing substances and precautionary double pre-registrations of the same substance in a supply chain by many companies. The final numbers for pre-registrations and substances will be announced when ECHA publishes the List of Pre-registered Substances later this month. By that time, ECHA expects to have validated the remaining unprocessed pre-registrations and identified company information which appears to be incorrect or inaccurate; consequently ECHA will only be able to re-open the pre-SIEF functionality later than initially planned.

Companies that have pre-registered their substances will benefit from the staggered registration deadlines (2010, 2013 or 2018) for their substances. Their next REACH obligation is to start data sharing in Substance Information Exchange Forums (SIEFs) after ECHA will have published the List of Pre-registered Substances. Companies may organise their data-sharing as they consider most appropriate. Some industry associations have tools ready to assist the data-sharing.

Companies starting to manufacture or import a substance at or above one tonne per year after 1 December for first time can benefit from late pre-registration provisions. This provision does not apply to those companies that have failed to meet the pre-registration deadline. Such companies cannot continue manufacturing or importing the substance until they have submitted a full registration dossier and paid the registration fee.

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