Greater EU SVHC substitution incentives needed – industry

Trade bodies propose REACH authorisation improvement measures

November 22th, 2018 – EU authorities should “motivate” companies to actively look for alternatives to SVHCs by providing “positive incentives”, such as tax cuts for producers, industry associations have said.

Their proposal, part of a review calling for improvements to the REACH authorisation process, was sent to the European Commission and Echa last week. It was also forwarded to the members of the Competent Authorities for REACH and CLP (Caracal) ahead of this week’s meeting.

The associations suggest EU bodies establish a mechanism that provides “assurance of a minimum period of protection” for companies that invest in alternative processes and to allow them secure returns on investments.

The document was prepared by:
– SMEunited – the trade body for European SMEs;
– the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (Acea);
– the European Aerospace and Defence Industries Association (ASD);
– and the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (Clepa).

The protection mechanism should be in place unless there is evidence of “overwhelming” risk from alternative substances, the group added. And to avoid ‘regrettable substitution’, chosen alternatives with the potential to be added to the authorisation list at a later stage “should be flagged as clearly as possible”.

The associations also called for a more level playing field with non-EU companies. Their products are imported into the EU and may contain SVHCs, but they are spared the “burden” of the authorisation process, the group said.

Authorities, they said, could tackle this by:
– implementing a European programme to support investments in new technologies, or upgrades, such as the Horizon 2020, which already considers substitution projects;
– member states establishing positive incentives, like subsidies for innovation projects;
– and supporting activities and enhancing funds for research on alternatives.

In its second Review of REACH, the Commission proposed greater promotion of substitution. NGOs have said that the authorisation process “rewards the laggards and frustrates the frontrunners”.


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