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June 5, 2013

ECHA Begins Public Consultation on Multi-Annual Work Program

Lynn L. Bergeson

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) began a public consultation on the draft multi-annual work program for 2014-2018. According to the draft work program, ECHA will develop “more refined guidance on the registration of substances in nano-form to provide further detailed advice reflecting the state-of-the-art in regulatory science in this respect and the anticipated adaptation of information requirements for nanomaterials in the [Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)] Annexes.” ECHA states that substance evaluation “will include evaluation of substances in nano-form and thereby contribute to advancing the information and understanding of hazards and risks posed by nanomaterials.” According to the draft work program, high priority topics in regulatory science include nanomaterials. The draft work program states: “With regard to nanomaterials, ECHA aims to ensure that the regulatory requirements of REACH, [Classification, Labeling, and Packaging (CLP)], and [Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR)] can be fully implemented to address the hazards and risks of substances in nanoform.” ECHA intends to extend further “its internal capacities in the area of the characterisation, hazard and safety assessment and risk management of nanomaterials; the Agency will also enable Member States’ experts to participate in capacity building and will share experience with stakeholders.” In addition, ECHA will participate in scientific and regulatory activities at the European Union (EU) and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) level “with the aim of developing appropriate guidance for industry, as well as being able to evaluate registration dossiers that contain information on the hazards, risks and risk management of nanomaterials, effectively.” Comments are due July 15, 2013.