Last reviewed 2 October 2013

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published a new report on compliance with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regime, and the European Regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP), which found that 67% of the inspected companies were non-compliant with one or more provisions of REACH or CLP.

The report was based on ECHA’s second enforcement project which focused on checking the compliance of downstream users — particularly formulators of mixtures — with the essential requirements of REACH and CLP. It was carried out in 29 Member States or EEA countries.

The project's operational phase was carried out from May 2011 until March 2012.

The national enforcement authorities inspected 1181 enterprises covering 6900 substances, 4500 mixtures and 4500 safety data sheets (SDSs).

The majority of the inspected companies were small or medium-sized. More than half of the inspected companies were not only active as downstream users but also in additional roles, eg as manufacturers, importers, distributors and only representatives.

In total, 67% of the inspected companies were judged to be non-compliant with one or more provisions of REACH or CLP.

Non-compliance was most commonly related to contraventions of pre-registration (in the case of REACH, 8%), notification (in the case of CLP, 15%), failure to keep information (20%) and having deficient risk management measures (12%).

Only 3% of companies failed to have the SDSs on site and 52% of the inspected SDSs showed deficiencies. However, inspectors noticed an improvement in the formats used and availability of SDSs in comparison to earlier inspections.

The report concluded that the quality of the SDSs and compliance with the notification and registration obligations need to improve.