From EurActive an article concerning the impact of EU REACH legislation on the chemical sector.

BASF, the German chemical giant, has distanced itself from the rest of the industry by saying Europe’s REACH chemical safety law was worth the investment in the end. A review of the legislation is expected this month.

“BASF was possibly the single most important player in influencing politicians and in leading the industry lobby against the environmental and health objectives of REACH,” said Jorgo Riss, from the Greenpeace European Unit in a paper recalling the REACH lobbying saga.

Ronald Drews, vice president for chemical regulations and trade control at BASF, said the company has recruited 250 employees to prepare registration dossiers for submission to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki. Overall, Drews said the company expected to submit around 5,000 REACH dossiers over 10 years, costing the company between €500 million and €550 million, he told journalists at a June Brussels briefing.

BASF’s apparent endorsement of REACH may raise eyebrows among the wider chemicals industry because the cost of implementing the directive may in fact have been under-estimated.

In the long run, factory relocation “may happen in some cases”, he said, explaining this could happen for chemicals produced in smaller quantities. “But I don’t see a big move out of Europe”, he replied when asked about whether industry claims of de-industrialisation had materialised.

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