Data-Sharing Costs – A Roadblock to SIEF Formation?
16 June 2009
The Chemical Business Association (CBA) today called for the key data-holders within SIEFs to make existing data available free of charge to other SIEF members.
“This will greatly improve the cost-transparency of SIEFs and remove a significant roadblock to their effective operation – particularly for SMEs. At the moment, SMEs are reluctant to fully participate in SIEFs because they have no idea how much it will cost them to buy into the data held by other SIEF members. This may not be the only reason SMEs are holding back from SIEFs, but it is a major area of concern,” said Peter Newport, CBA Director.
CBA is supporting the proposal made by Cefic (the European Chemical Industry Council) that SIEF participants may make existing hazard data available to other SIEF members on the basis of it being ‘compensation-free’ and a ‘fair, transparent and non-discriminatory way forward which maximises the efficiency of progress towards registration.’
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is currently running a campaign with Cefic to encourage rapid SIEF formation as the first Registration date (1 December 2010) is on the horizon. ECHA is concerned that SIEF progress is either slow or non-existent and is placing the first REACH Registration deadline at risk.
“CBA fully supports the ECHA-Cefic campaign and has briefed its member companies on the current position. However, as most CBA members are SMEs, they are not in a position to push SIEFs forward on their own account. The momentum, for the high tonnage bands due for REACH Registration next year, must come from the major producers, many of which are well advanced in their preparations to meet the REACH deadline,” said Peter Newport.
“These major producers also hold the existing hazard data for the substances concerned. They should make clear now that they intend to make this data available to the SIEF free of charge. By so doing, they will remove a major disincentive for SMEs which is preventing them becoming active SIEF participants – as well as making a major contribution to reducing the costs of REACH compliance for SMEs,” he added.