UK companies struggling with Reach


Companies in the UK are failing to recognise the implications of the Reach (registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals) regulation, according to a report by EEF, a UK industry group.

Of the manufacturers surveyed, 20% believed that the regulation did not apply to them and 30% believed it wasn’t important to their business. The situation seems worst for smaller companies: even when they were aware of the Reach regulation, half said they were not monitoring developments. This compares with 72% of large companies and 83% of medium sized ones monitoring developments.

Cost and complexity were cited as the root of the problem, with 20% of companies reporting that for them the time dedicated to dealing with the regulation had increased significantly in the last two years.

EEF says that for UK manufacturers the Reach regulation is the ‘elephant in the room’. Companies that fail to comply could face unlimited fines or even prison. As such, the organisation wants to see the government do more to raise awareness of the implications on businesses.

‘The regulations have serious requirements for all manufacturers, who are facing either the restricted use or banning altogether of some substances,’ said Gareth Stace at EEF. ‘For many companies, there is the very real risk of lost business if they are unable to advise their customers whether their products contain certain materials and, where they are, how their use is being monitored.’


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