Study shows that more support is needed for SMEs

Study shows that more support is needed for SMEs

A study commissioned by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) has shown that many SMEs face financial challenges when it comes to registering under the REACH regulations.

The study of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) revealed uncertainties among some businesses regarding intentions to register substances by the 31 May 2018 deadline with their main concern being the cost of gathering the data that is required.

Researchers discovered that, although many suppliers have a good understanding of REACH and many have set aside resources for registration, a number are not still sure whether or not they have to register and some fear losing their businesses because they cannot afford to do so.

ECHA says that, although 95% of the respondents were aware of their duties under REACH, a sizeable number are worried about registration costs including the costs for letters of access and participating in the substance information exchange forums (SIEFs).

As a result, the study shows that a number of companies are finding alternative solutions, for example, reconsidering their production and import volumes to remain below the one tonne per year threshold that triggers registration obligations.

The study proposes actions by ECHA, European Member States and the European Commission to help SMEs register by the deadline, including more support for businesses and helping them to challenge the SIEF costs if necessary.

ECHA is discussing solutions with the Commission and the Directors’ Contact Group, which was set up in 2010 to identify and resolve issues of concern relevant to REACH registration.