On 14 November 2014 the JBCE was honoured to welcome Mr Björn Hansen, Head of Unit A3 (Chemicals) at DG Environment, to its latest Environment Committee meeting. The subject of Mr Hansen’s presentation, as well as the subsequent Q&A session, was the future of EU chemicals policy-making and the REACH Regulation in particular.

In his presentation Mr Hansen elaborated first on the development by 2018 of a non-toxic environment strategy. He then explained that DG Environment will continue its pursuit of good implementation of existing chemicals legislation, as well as carry on with its REFIT exercise with a focus on problem identification and problem solving, including in relation to the REACH Regulation.

Mr Hansen next addressed the issue of the interface of the REACH Regulation with other chemicals legislation, e.g. the RoHS Directive.

As a final topic in his presentation Mr Hansen provided information on how DG Environment will proceed with regulating nanomaterials and endocrine-disrupting chemicals under REACH. JBCE member companies then had the opportunity to ask a series of questions, some of which addressed the relationship between the forthcoming non-toxic environment strategy and the EU’s circular economy and waste policies. Several other questions related to different aspects of the REACH Authorisation process and future REACH Registration requirements for polymers.

A final set of questions focused on how endocrine-disrupting chemicals will be regulated under REACH and the potential application of the repair-as-produced principle application to REACH. After a very open and fruitful discussion Lars Brückner, Environment Committee Chair, thanked Mr Hansen for his visit and emphasised JBCE’s commitment to continue strengthening its communication with DG Environment’s Unit A3.