Advancing REACH: Costs and benefits of REACH (FKZ 3717 67 410 0)

The current report analyses the available literature about the current knowledge of the benefits and costs of REACH, with a focus on the gaps in the analyses of benefits.

The study results suggest that in the literature the main benefits of REACH are considered regarding the reduction of risks from hazardous substances in relation to humans and the environment through the withdrawal of such substances and/or their use restriction, resulting in decreasing release. Another important benefit is the generation and making accessible of additional and better substance information for all stakeholders. Additionally, the information exchange along the supply chains are important, as they increased the awareness of chemical risks and improved the implementation of (better) risk management measures.

The literature analysis shows that only limited quantified / monetised information about the benefits of REACH are available. A lack of monitoring data and a limited data availability in official databases are among the main reasons for this. Some data on the impacts of REACH on competitiveness suggest that REACH created burdens that discriminated EU producers against those from third countries, while other information create doubts in that REACH impacted on competitiveness at all. The authorisation process is generally evaluated as effective innovation driver. The process of candidate listing triggered some innovation and substitution but it is difficult to determine to which extent REACH contributed to this.

To close gaps in key data regarding the benefits of REACH it is recommended to more efficiently use the available data. In addition, more comprehensive data could be generated at EU level to support the quantification and monetisation of benefits. Regarding the costs, future research should focus on granted authorisations and measures by ECHA.

Dirk Jepsen

More about: