European Chemical Authority launched in Finland to ensure consistent plan European chemcial standards

A new pan-European chemical authority has been set up to help ensure levels of consistency for the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction processes for chemical substances.

Based in Finland, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will manage the implementation of these REACH processes, and will also provide, through its website, a single point of entry for all information on the directive.

The mission of the ECHA is to:

Manage and carry out technical, scientific and administrative aspects of REACH;

Ensure consistency at Community level in relation to these aspects;

Provide the Member States and the institutions of the Community with the best possible scientific and technical advice on questions relating to chemicals which fall under REACH

Manage IT based guidance documents, tools and data bases

Support national helpdesk and run a helpdesk for registrants

Make information on chemicals publicly accessible

Geert Dancet is the interim executive director of the ECHA and will hold the position until a permanent executive director is appointed. Dancet was appointed head of unit of the REACH Unit in the Enterprise DG in March 2004, a role which involved taking the REACH proposal through the regulatory process in the Council and European Parliament as well as developing and implementing an interim strategy, including the preparations for the new Chemicals Agency.

During the first 12 months the agency plans to build up its organisation and recruit personnel to be ready to accept registrations from 1 June 2008.