18 March 2016

A decision taken by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to grant a REACH Registration to an individual company that was not part of a joint submission for registration has been annulled by ECHA’s Board of Appeal on the basis that it breaches several “cornerstones” of the REACH Regulation, including Data Sharing and the “one substance, one registration” principle.

On 15 March 2016, the Board of Appeal of ECHA issued its Decision on Case A-022-2013. This was an Appeal lodged by the Lead Registrant of a Substance because ECHA had granted a registration to an individual company for the same Substance, outside of the existing joint submission for registration. The Lead Registrant argued that the individual company’s dossier ignored Data Sharing under REACH with the expected cost sharing that goes with it, was missing key information and data, had not been properly checked by ECHA, and ECHA’s decision to grant the registration gave the individual registrant an unfair market advantage.

ECHA’s Board of Appeal has upheld the Appeal, which means the Case has been remitted for further examination.

Case A-022-2013 is highly significant as it underlines that, except in strictly limited cases, potential registrants cannot expect to “cut corners” and save costs by submitting an individual registration dossier when there is already a joint submission for the same Substance. The Decision also subjects ECHA’s completeness check procedures when granting registrations to critical scrutiny, as the Board of Appeal held that the individual registrant’s dossier in this case was deficient and should not have been granted.

ECHA’s reliance upon an automated system for carrying out the “completeness check” on registration dossiers did not exonerate ECHA from its legal duties to ensure that all the key components of a registration dossier were present.

Burges Salmon regularly advises companies in the chemicals sector and in the supply chain on the impact of the REACH Regulation. We provide compliance advice, audit, transactional support, corporate defence, dispute resolution and advocacy services for REACH and all other EU chemicals regulation and product stewardship regimes.

For further information please contact Michael Barlow, William Wilson, or Sarah Farr.

Key contact

Michael Barlow

Michael Barlow Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • Head of Water
  • Head of ESG

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