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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 20 March 2013

Reduced fees for SMEs under EU chemical legislation

Today the European Commission lowered the fees and charges that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have to pay to register chemicals. This step should help SMEs that produce or trade chemicals to remain competitive during the current difficult market situation. Depending on the size of the company, SMEs could benefit from reductions from 35% to 95% in relation to standard registration fees, and from 25% to 90% in relation to standard fees for authorisation requests. Registration makes companies responsible for the safe use of chemicals under REACH, the EU’s chemicals legislation. It was recently identified by SMEs as the most burdensome piece of EU legislation (IP/13/188), and a recent review of REACH indicated it poses a disproportionate burden on SMEs, relative to larger companies (IP/13/85).

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, and Janez Potočnik, Commissioner for Environment said: "By reducing fees for SMEs affected by the REACH legislation, the Commission is directly responding to their concerns. We are working together towards EU chemical legislation that protects health and the environment, as well helping European businesses to grow and to create jobs."

Fees and charges

Reach review – IP & Memo

Considerations in REACH fee changes

The amending regulation rebalances the fees and charges in such a way that takes into account the costs of the EU’s Chemicals Agency but provides further reductions for SMEs which have less capacity to absorb the costs of REACH compliance than large companies. Standard fees have also been updated in line with inflation.

Reductions for SMEs (in brackets current reductions)

Type of company/ Type of fee





-35% (-30%)

-65% (-60%)

-95% (-90%)


-25% (-20%)

-55% (-50%)

-90% (-85%)


-25% (18.2%)

-25% (18.2%)

-25% (18.2%)


REACH is the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals. The REACH Fee Regulation establishes the fees and charges that companies must pay to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) for registering chemicals or for applying for an authorisation for the use of certain chemicals in the context of the REACH regulation.

REACH objectives include a high level of protection of human health and the environment, the promotion of alternative methods for assessment of hazards of substances, as well as the free circulation of substances on the internal market while enhancing competitiveness and innovation.

Chemicals and Enterprise and Industry

Contacts :

Carlo Corazza (+32 2 295 17 52)

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Sara Tironi (+32 2 299 04 03)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)

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