EC Opens Industry Survey on Potential REACH Changes Relating to Generic Risk Management Approach and Authorization and Restriction – JD Supra | Region & Cash

The European Commission (EC) has recently launched a survey focusing exclusively on possible reforms of the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals (REACH) Regulation (No. 1907/2006) and its extension the Generic Risk Management Approach (GRA). The European Commission is revising REACH to reflect the goals of its ambitious Chemicals Sustainability Strategy (CSS). The survey supports the EC’s impact assessment for the REACH revision and is intended for industry stakeholders only. Answers are due June 1, 2022.

Although the survey only focuses on potential reforms of authorization and restriction regulations and the expansion of GRA, the survey captures other related changes to REACH processes currently being considered, such as: B. the possible implementation of the concept of essential use, if relevant for specific issues. As reported in our memorandum of February 2nd, 2022, the European Commission has carried out a wider public consultation on all measures it is considering for the REACH revision, which ended on April 15th, 2022.

The survey looks at four options that the European Commission is considering:

  • Option 1: keep authorization (with clarifications and simplifications) and restriction procedures separate;
  • Option 2: Merge permitting and restriction procedures;
  • Option 2A (variation of Option 2): Keep Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) title and restriction separate, but introduce the possibility for exemption requests; and
  • Option 3: Remove authorization title from REACH.

At this stage, the EC has not decided which of these possible options, if any, will be adopted, but it can combine elements from different options. The survey finds that two ways of granting permits and/or exemptions from restrictions also apply to the options under consideration:

  • The concept of “essential use” (being developed as part of another study), where exceptions to restrictions and/or permits are only granted where the use is shown to be necessary for health and/or safety or critical to the functioning of society is, and if there are none, suitable environmentally and health-friendly alternatives; and
  • The ‘minimum exposure’ route for use of substances in articles and for industrial use of substances in mixtures, whereby in exceptional cases a derogation and/or authorization can be granted if the industry demonstrates that exposure/emissions throughout the Substance lifecycles are absent or minimal and there are no suitable alternatives that are acceptable from an environmental and health perspective.

Through the survey, the EC is gathering views on the effectiveness and efficiency of both the current REACH processes and how this might change under the options discussed in more detail in the section Options to revise permitting and restriction procedures. These options strike a balance between five goals, and the survey asks questions about whether and how the options might achieve those goals:

  • reducing administrative burdens for businesses and governments;
  • Freed government resources to address a broader range of chemical risks;
  • Make authorization processes more efficient and effective;
  • Achieving a higher level of protection of human health and the environment from the risks of the most harmful substances; and
  • Give clearer market signals and more planning security for companies.

The survey is divided into two main parts, the first devoted to expanding the use of the GRA and the second devoted to revising the permitting and restriction processes. Industry stakeholders can choose which part(s) of the questionnaire they want to fill out in order to reduce the time required to complete it.


Industry stakeholders are encouraged to take this opportunity to share their views with the EC by participating in this survey. The European Commission’s consideration of possible reforms of the authorization and restriction provisions of REACH is the first proposal for a substantial revision of the fundamental provisions of REACH since its entry into force in 2007. Participation in this survey offers industry stakeholders the opportunity to share their views to share with the EC and to ensure that the EC takes them into account. The scope of the current survey is limited to expanding the use of the GRA and revising the permitting and restriction procedures. In particular, the authorization and restriction procedures affect a large number of actors, substances and uses. This survey offers a valuable opportunity for industry stakeholders to share their experiences and express their preferences as to whether they would prefer to keep the current REACH process or whether they would welcome changes to the process according to the proposed options. The information the European Commission is getting from industry stakeholders’ responses to this survey will be based on revisions to REACH, which are expected to last another 15 years before such a major revision of the regulation is reconsidered.

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