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October 15, 2007

DEFRA Will Publish Revised VRS Guidance

Lynn L. Bergeson

According to the fourth quarterly report for the UK’s Voluntary Reporting Scheme (VRS) for Manufactured Nanomaterials, the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) received no new submissions during the most recent quarter. Since the VRS began in September 2006, DEFRA has received a total of nine submissions, seven from industry and two from academia. In late July 2007, the Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances (ACHS) reported the findings of its review of the VRS. ACHS concluded that improvements to the VRS guidance documents were needed to increase participation levels and enhance the quality and relevance of data submitted. ACHS recommended changes to the scheme literature to make its purpose clearer and make the specific data requested from industry more explicit. The report states that DEFRA will publish revised guidance shortly. The VRS is scheduled to end in September 2008, at which time DEFRA will evaluate its success and consider alternatives, including compulsory data submissions, if necessary.