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October 23, 2012

ECHA announces draft plan for substance evaluation for 2013 to 2015

Joy LePree

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA; Helsinki, Finland; echa.europa.eu) has prepared a proposal to update the Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP) for 2013 to 2015. The draft plan contains 116 substances proposed to be reviewed by the Member States under the substance evaluation process of the REACH regulation.

The draft update list contains 63 newly selected substances and 53 substances from the first plan published on February 29, 2012. These substances are allocated for evaluation during the years 2013, 2014 and 2015. ECHA now publishes a public version of the draft plan, including the non-confidential substance names, CAS- and EC-numbers, the tentative year of evaluation and the contact details of the proposed evaluating Member State.

The CoRAP process does not include a public consultation. However, ECHA informs the stakeholders of the progress made by publishing this draft list of substances and encourages the registrants of the substances to start coordinating their actions and to have early interaction with the evaluating Member States.

The REACH Regulations (EC) No. 1907/2006 requests ECHA to submit the draft annual update of CoRAP to the Member States by February 28 of each year. The plan addresses substances that are suspected of posing risk to human health or the environment. Substance evaluation is the process under REACH that allows for clarification of such risks. During the evaluation process, further information may be requested from the registrants of the substances if additional data is considered necessary to clarify the suspected risk. The evaluation may result in a confirmation of the suspected risk or, alternatively, it may conclude that the substance does not constitute a risk and no further data is needed.

The draft plan has been prepared in close cooperation with the Member States, taking into account the agreed risk-based criteria for the selection of substances. The Member States have also proposed substances based on national priorities.

In many cases, the initial concerns are related to potential Persistent, Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) properties, suspected endocrine disruption or carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic properties in combination with wide dispersive or consumer use. In general, the use of these substances covers various areas and is not focused on a particular industrial, professional or consumer use.

ECHA has submitted the draft CoRAP update for 2013 to 2015 to the Member State competent authorities and the ECHA Member State Committee. The Committee starts its discussions this week and plans to issue an opinion on the draft plan in February 2013. ECHA will then adopt the final CoRAP update for 2013 to 2015 on the basis of the Committee’s opinion.

ECHA’s aim is to adopt and publish the final CoRAP update for 2013 to 2015 during March 2013. The final CoRAP update for 2013 to 2015 will indicate the Member State responsible for the evaluation of each substance and the initial reasons of concern. From the publication of the final CoRAP update for 2013 to 2015, the respective Member States have one year to evaluate substances specified for 2013 and, where regarded as necessary, to prepare a draft decision for requesting further information to clarify the suspected risks. Such draft decisions will be reviewed by other Member States and, when necessary, agreed by the Member State Committee before ECHA issues a final decision. Registrants of substances listed on the final CoRAP will be provided an opportunity to comment before any final decision to request further information will be taken.


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