By adjusting their product portfolios, our businesses have anticipated both chemicals legislation (REACH, Global Harmonizing System) and the EU VOC 2010 directive so that we will comply with emerging regulation well in advance. In the long run, the costs of compliance – for REACH in the area of €120 million – are expected to be more than offset by new business opportunities. A REACH leadership team, comprising business focal points and corporate staff, has been established to effectively steer the REACH implementation process. They are focusing on issues such as protecting Intellectual Property rights; legal compliance; interpreting legal requirements for contracts/agreements with external parties; and streamlining supply chain processes involving purchasing managers worldwide.
The pre-registration phase was successfully closed on December 1, 2008. The next steps are in progress – consortia formation and additional testing to fill the knowledge gaps for some products. The team will also be considering the IT structure needed for future successful management of the REACH aspects of our value chains.