Companies exporting chemicals to the EU should include documentation proving they have met all current REACH obligations, REACH experts of BMT Group subsidiaries BMT Designers & Planners and BMT Cordah Ltd, have warned.
The warning comes after a shipment of chemicals from one of BMT’s US clients was delayed at customs at an EU port as officials demanded evidence of pre-registration and compliance with the EU REACH regulation.
However, according to the UK Competent Authority for REACH, the Health and Safety Executive, the regulation does not require evidence of pre-registration to be provided either to the customer (in this case the importer) or to the customs authorities.
In light of the incident, and the suggestion that similar issues are arising at a number of ports in the EU, BMT is recommending that exporters ensure that an appropriate letter confirming REACH compliance accompanies all relevant shipments to the EU.
Dr Damien Carson, BMT’s head of REACH Only Representative Services said “It is early days for the regulators, manufacturers, and importers as far as enforcement of the REACH Regulation is concerned, and there have obviously been some misunderstandings. Within the BMT family of companies, we were, however, able to quickly resolve the matter and our lead will help other companies avoid similar situations”.
Companies were required to pre-register all the substances used in their products by December 1 last year under the regulation. Firms that failed to pre-register are now banned from selling their products in the EU. The ban continues until they have fully registered.
Firms in the UK that refuse to comply with the law face an unlimited fine and/or a prison sentence for company directors of up to two years, according to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which is responsible for the enforcement of REACH in Britain.