Ministers wrestle with Reach authorisation rules

Final debate on chemical policy reform shows divergent opinions on hazardous substance controls

EU member state positions on the Reach substance policy reform's authorisation rules are still wide apart, a debate among competitiveness ministers revealed on Tuesday. The authorisation stage - and in particular the process of chemical substitution it is intended to bring about - is now the major unresolved issue in the Reach debate.

"There is broad agreement on registration and evaluation, and we will continue to work to strike the right balance on authorisation," UK trade and industry minister Alan Johnson said after the meeting of competitiveness ministers in Brussels. "There was a positive exchange of views and it is clear that member states want to reach an agreement."

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