This week ChemSec participates in a meeting with The Committee for Socio-economic Analysis (SEAC). SEAC assesses the socio-economic factors related to authorisation applications and prepares the opinions of ECHA on these matters.
In relation to this meeting ChemSec has prepared its thoughts on how the SEAC decision-making process can be improved, by putting more emphasis on third party implications when assessing authorisation applications.
In short, ChemSec suggests that SEAC:
1. Carry out a cost-benefit analysis for alternative producers and users
In order to get a complete picture of the economic impact when granting authorisation it is necessary to look beyond the costs of the applicant alone. Economic effects on alternative producers and users need to be accounted for as well.
2. Take innovation potential into account
There is a common prejudice that strict chemical regulation would hinder the competiveness of companies, but history shows that individual countries with rigid regulation, such as Germany and the Nordic countries, are also recognised for their strong capacity to innovate.
3. Consider economic impacts on society
REACH states that authorisation shall only be granted via the socio-economic route if it is shown that the socio-economic benefits outweigh the risks and that no alternatives are available. To be able to evaluate socioeconomic benefits, the health and environmental costs affected by continuous use of SVHCs must also be taken into account.