The Board of Appeal of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has today published its first two final decisions on appeals against decisions adopted by ECHA under the REACH Regulation .
In both cases, the appellants had paid the fee required for the registration of a substance, after the expiry of the deadlines set by the Agency. According to the REACH Regulation and the associated Fee Regulation, non-payment of the registration fee by the set deadline will result in the registration being rejected with any late fee not being refunded.
While both cases dealt with the late payment of the registration fee, the particular circumstances of the cases are different. The Board of Appeal decided in favour of the appellant in one case and in favour of ECHA in the other.
In case A-001-2010, the appellant sought the refund of the registration fee which had been paid after the set deadline. In this case, the Board of Appeal found in favour of the appellant and ordered ECHA to refund both the registration fee and the appeal fee. The Board of Appeal held that although the legislation sets out the consequences of failure to pay the registration fee on time, in this instance there were shortcomings in ECHA’s handling of the case. Taking into account all of the circumstances of this specific case, the Board of Appeal found that ECHA had not fulfilled all the requirements of good administration, particularly in regard to the requirement for clarity of the information it provided to the appellant.
In case A-004-2011, the appellant requested the Board of Appeal to annul the decision rejecting the registration. The appellant considered the rejection of its registration for late payment of the registration fee to be disproportionate. In this case, however, the Board of Appeal decided in favour of ECHA and confirmed that the Agency had acted correctly in rejecting the registration. In reaching its decision, the Board of Appeal found that there was nothing in the specific facts of the case to suggest that ECHA should not have applied the provisions of the above mentioned legislation. Consequently, ECHA had no alternative but to reject the substance registration dossier in question.
The full texts of the decisions are published on the Board of Appeal’s web page at: http://echa.europa.eu/appeals/app_decisions_en.asp.
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