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  Reducing  the  dangers  of chemicals in the environment  is  a  high
  priority for European environment policy. The Community already  has
  legislation on chemical substances, but the system of control at the
  Community level will be significantly strengthened by publication of
  EINECS,  a new inventory of chemical substances. An advance  edition
  is now available in English.
  The inventory lists, defines and indexes 100 116 "existing" chemical
  substances.  These  are  substances which were  demonstrated  to  be
  commercially  available  in the Community up to September  18  1981.
  They  may  be  marketed  throughout  the  Community  without   prior
  notification   or  new  safety  assessment  procedures.  Any   "new"
  substances (ie those not in EINECS) are subject to special Community
  rules under the legislation on dangerous substances.
  An  effective system of control at the Community level  becomes  all
  the  more  important as the volume of trade in  chemical  substances
  increases and the single market becomes a reality.
  The creation and use of the EINECS
  EINECS stands for European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical
  Substances.  It has been compiled by the European  Commission  under
  the  1967  Council  directive (67/548/EEC)  on  the  classification,
  packaging and labelling of dangerous substances. It inventories  and
  indexes chemical substances marketed in the 12 member states between
  January  1 1971 and September 18 1981. Each substance is  identified
  by a registry number, its chemical name and molecular formula and/or
  Compilation of the inventory was a major task for the Commission. It
  began with preparation of a core inventory of 34 000 substances  and
  continued  with the analysis of 130 000 declaration forms  collected
  from industry by the government of each member state.
  This  work has taken four years. It has been done by the  Commission
  with the assistance of the United States Chemical Abstracts  Service
  (CAS), whose registry numbers are used to identify each substance.
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       EINECS  will  become a legal document six months after  it  has
       been published in all nine languages of the Official Journal of
       the  Community.  Under Community law it will  then  become  the
       exclusive   point  of  reference  for  the  identification   of
       substances which are exempt from pre-marketing notification and
       assessment.  The  process  of translation may take  up  to  two
       years,  but the advance edition now published will be of  great
       practical  value  to manufacturers, distributors,  customs  and
       environmental  protection services who have to  decide  whether
       pre-marketing notification is required for any given substance.
       It  is also equipped with a range of indexes which will not  be
       found in the Official Journal versions.
       Making sure that new chemicals are safe
       Community rules ensure that every new chemical coming on to the
       market  has  been  thoroughly tested  and  its  characteristics
       identified.  Anyone wishing to market a new chemical  substance
       must  first  submit  a notification  dossier  to  the  national
       competent  authority. The authority receiving the dossier  will
       then send it to the European Commission for transmission to the
       other member states.
       The Commission or any member state has 45 days from the date of
       notification to lodge any objections. At the end of the period,
       if  no  objection has been laid, the manufacturer  is  free  to
       market throughout the Community. Since September 1981 more than
       250 new chemical substances have been notified and assessed for
       sale at European Community level.
       Supplementary  information  has  to be  provided  when  certain
       quantity  thresholds  are reached or if the properties  of  the
       substance give rise to concern. Where less than one tonne is to
       be  marketed, only a limited announcement at national level  is
       Controlling dangerous chemicals
       When new substances come on to the market which are potentially
       dangerous, the Community's strict packaging and labelling rules
       must  be  applied.  At the same time, the  Community  has  been
       introducing special legislation to govern the use of substances
       such  as PCBs or asbestos which are particularly  dangerous  in
       How to order EINECS
       The  advance  edition of EINECS is published by the  Office  of
       Official  Publications  of  the  European  Communities,  2  rue
       Mercier,  L-2985  Luxembourg,  and may be  ordered  from  sales
       agents  in  the member states and elsewhere.  It  is  currently
       available  in  English in eight volumes -three  of  the  master
                                  - 3 -
       inventory,  five  of  indexes. The  master  inventory  is  also
       offered on magnetic tape.
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