As promised 18 months ago (CW 11 May 2011), ECHA has published the names and registration numbers of companies from REACH registration dossiers. Its action comes almost two years after the European Commission said that according to its legal interpretation of the REACH Regulation, the agency should publish the information, plus whether the registered substance is classified as persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and very bioaccumulative (vPvB).
Companies were able to review their dossiers and submit confidentiality claims prior to the end of October if they believed the publication of the information would harm their commercial interests. ECHA has now begun the process of releasing additional information.
Some 26,000 company names have been published by ECHA. Information on PBT/vPvB assessment results will be published in December.
The move was welcomed by ChemSec and ClientEarth, who had requested in December 2010 that the names of the producers and importers of certain substances, plus information on tonnages, be published. The NGOs subsequently launched a law suit against the agency in 2011 to force it to release the information (CW 9 May 2011).
“We welcome the important step towards transparency in the chemical sector,” said Sonja Haider, ChemSec business and investor advisor. “To know who is producing hazardous substances will help investors to evaluate chemical companies and the financial risks arising from future bans or restrictions… …this is a great step forward.”