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Help and SIEF launched at ECHA Stakeholders' Day
29
May '09
Over 570 representatives of stakeholders from 33 countries (ranging from the EU Member States to India, Korea and the USA) participated in the European Chemicals Agency's (ECHA) second Stakeholders´ Day. Over 300 were present at the Conference Centre in Helsinki and a further 270 joined in via webstream. The participants discussed the urgent need for companies to work together and share data in order to prepare joint dossiers for the registration of each chemical substance.

At the request of industry, ECHA launched an awareness campaign, called “the clock is ticking – form your SIEF now”, which intends to raise awareness of the urgent need for action if companies are to meet the first substance registration deadline of 30 November 2010. The campaign banner is available to download from ECHA's website and is free for all to use. Industry associations and national helpdesks are particularly encouraged to join the campaign.

The campaign will seek to promote examples of best practice from companies who are well advanced in the registration process. It will also provide additional support for companies who are the so called Lead Registrants – the company taking the lead in developing the registration dossier on behalf of all the other companies who manufacture or import the same substance. For example, monthly webinars are planned for Lead Registrants to help them through the process.

The event was webstreamed live across the globe and is still viewable until 27 June. All the slides presented at the event are also available online.

In his opening speech, the Executive Director of ECHA Geert Dancet emphasized: “Companies throughout Europe are preparing to register chemicals by the end of November next year and ECHA is doing its best to encourage them to make urgent progress in their Substance Information Exchange Fora so that they don't miss that crucial date. Remember, the clock is ticking….”

The Stakeholder Days are recurring events that contribute to the development of a constructive relationship, transparency and dialogue between ECHA and its stakeholders. The active discussion and feedback from the participants highlighted the need for clarity and guidance on issues which remain unclear for companies in order to remove any barriers to progress. Those issues include the question of companies who “opt out” of sharing data with other companies; the roles and responsibilities of Lead Registrants; and the timing of Lead Registrants' submissions.

In conjunction to the Stakeholders Day, two new web sections – Help and SIEF - were launched. The Help section provides an easy access to all the technical documents and Helpdesk support that companies may need when preparing and submitting their dossiers to ECHA. The SIEF section gives a brief overview of the critical information on SIEFs (Substance Information Exchange Fora) and how to prepare for registration under REACH.

In addition, the Publications section of the website has been revamped to facilitate the access to documents published by ECHA. The publications are now grouped under nine main headings: administrative documents, brochures, fact sheets, guidance documents, newsletters, press material, Q&A documents, technical manuals and reports.

ECHA will organise the next stakeholder event in late autumn 2009. It will focus on the Classification and Labelling of Substances..

European Chemicals Agency

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