European Chemicals Agency: Role and governance

29-08-2017

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is a decentralised agency of the European Union. Established in 2007, it is based in Helsinki. Its main mission is to contribute to the implementation of European chemicals legislation for the benefit of human health and the environment, as well as improving innovation and competitiveness. ECHA carries out technical, scientific and administrative tasks under four EU regulations: the regulation on registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH); the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation; the Biocidal Products Regulation; and the regulation on export and import of hazardous chemicals. It may also initiate regulatory processes and take limited regulatory decisions under these regulations. ECHA comprises a number of bodies active on specific aspects. These include the Member State Committee which is involved in key processes under REACH, three advisory scientific bodies (Committee for Risk Assessment, Committee for Socio-economic analysis and Biocidal Products Committee), a Forum aimed at strengthening enforcement, a Board of Appeal deciding on appeals against decisions taken by the ECHA, and a Management Board, which acts as the Agency's governing body. These bodies are supported by a secretariat employing 564 staff at the end of 2016. ECHA's annual budget, which is about €110 million, has two main sources: a subsidy from the EU budget, and fees levied on companies for services carried out under the four relevant regulations. In 2016, fees and charges accounted for 46 % of expenditure. An evaluation carried out for the European Commission in 2017 found that the ECHA carries out its work effectively and efficiently, is relevant to societal needs and brings EU added value, although the evaluation also highlighted some areas where there is room for improvement, for instance regarding IT and communication.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is a decentralised agency of the European Union. Established in 2007, it is based in Helsinki. Its main mission is to contribute to the implementation of European chemicals legislation for the benefit of human health and the environment, as well as improving innovation and competitiveness. ECHA carries out technical, scientific and administrative tasks under four EU regulations: the regulation on registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH); the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) Regulation; the Biocidal Products Regulation; and the regulation on export and import of hazardous chemicals. It may also initiate regulatory processes and take limited regulatory decisions under these regulations. ECHA comprises a number of bodies active on specific aspects. These include the Member State Committee which is involved in key processes under REACH, three advisory scientific bodies (Committee for Risk Assessment, Committee for Socio-economic analysis and Biocidal Products Committee), a Forum aimed at strengthening enforcement, a Board of Appeal deciding on appeals against decisions taken by the ECHA, and a Management Board, which acts as the Agency's governing body. These bodies are supported by a secretariat employing 564 staff at the end of 2016. ECHA's annual budget, which is about €110 million, has two main sources: a subsidy from the EU budget, and fees levied on companies for services carried out under the four relevant regulations. In 2016, fees and charges accounted for 46 % of expenditure. An evaluation carried out for the European Commission in 2017 found that the ECHA carries out its work effectively and efficiently, is relevant to societal needs and brings EU added value, although the evaluation also highlighted some areas where there is room for improvement, for instance regarding IT and communication.