Impacts on industry of Europe's emerging chemicals policy REACh
For Europe, a new regime in chemicals regulation is about to start. After the proposal of the European Commission concerning the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACh) passed its readings in the European Parliament and some differences with the European Council of Ministers were resolved, the regulation will come into force in June 2007. This paper is focused on the question how serious the cost burdens for industry induced by REACh will be, and whether the New European Member States (NMS) which joined the European Union in May 2004 will be able to cope with the regulation. This evaluation has been done by assessing the legislative, administrative and economic framework in New Member States and by analysing real business cases in companies. The empirical showcase business impact studies are at the same time of interest for companies of EU-15 states, other European countries who may implement the regulation, and even for exporters of raw materials and chemicals outside Europe, who will also have to comply with REACh if they market in the European Community. The results give no indications that REACh adoption will bring significant drawbacks to companies in the NMS. The emerging regulation will bring challenges for individual companies, especially for small and medium-sized ones, but for the European chemical industry as a whole, there is no question that it will be able to cope with REACh burdens without losing its global competitiveness.