Ten years since they were launched, the SME guidance projects for the implementation of REACH and CLP remain a success. This complex legislation governing the gathering of information and communicating the risks and hazards of chemical products is still evolving. The last registration deadline of 2018 will surely not be the end of the information-gathering process, but rather the start of a new REACH implementation phase, with a greater emphasis on risk management, communication and substitution of substances of concern.
Since 2007, essenscia has set up two regional projects: the Flanders REACH Implementation Projects (VLARIP) and Wallonia Reach Implementation Programme (WALRIP) Vlaanderens REACH Implementatie Projecten (VLARIP) en Wallonie Reach Implementation Programme (WALRIP)
Over the past decade, some 600 participants from about 200 companies have shared experiences in one or more of over 200 VLARIP workshops. The VLARIP project was supported by 29 ‘godfathers and godmothers’ from 18 leading companies who shared their experience and approach to implementation. Eight of them have been engaged since the very beginning of the project.
In both projects, exchanging experiences is a key element. Among other things, they support SMEs with advice on:
- REACH registration obligations
- Defining the strategy for substances of very high concern and substances with restricted use
- Creating safety data sheets for users
- Classifying dangerous substances and mixtures according to CLP
- Obligations for nanomaterials
- How to use chemicals safely.
Every year, 45 companies actively participate in VLARIP, supervised by 11 expert companies, with 85 companies taking part in WALRIP. The evaluation of these two projects revealed considerable satisfaction among participants. They also attracted the interest of the European Chemicals Agency and EU Member States, with experience with this unique set-up being shared with national helpdesks at the Helpnet meeting in March 2017.