The Commission reduces the fees and charges that SMEs have to pay to register chemicals

With the aim at helping SMEs that produce or trade chemicals to remain competitive during the current difficult market situation, the European Commission lowered the fees and charges that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have to pay to register chemicals.

From 20 March on, SMEs could benefit from reductions from 35% to 95% in relation to standard registration fees, and from 25% to 90% in relation to standard fees for authorisation requests, depending on the size of the company. According to the European Commission, registration makes companies responsible for the safe use of chemicals under REACH, the EU’s chemicals legislation. It was recently identified by SMEs as the most burdensome piece of EU legislation and a recent review of REACH indicated it poses a disproportionate burden on SMEs, relative to larger companies.

The amending regulation rebalances the fees and charges in such a way that takes into account the costs of the EU’s Chemicals Agency but provides further reductions for SMEs which have less capacity to absorb the costs of REACH compliance than large companies. Standard fees have also been updated in line with inflation.

According to the Commission, REACH objectives include a high level of protection of human health and the environment, the promotion of alternative methods for assessment of hazards of substances, as well as the free circulation of substances on the internal market while enhancing competitiveness and innovation.