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FHKI Press Release (2 Aug 2007)

FHKI & Hong Kong Green Manufacturing Alliance jointly support the industry to prepare for the influential REACH regulation 

The Federation of Hong Kong Industries (FHKI) and the Hong Kong Green Manufacturing Alliance (GMA) today (Thursday) held a press briefing to announce the launching of a 24-month project entitled Supporting Industries to Achieve Readiness for European Union's Regulation REACH, with the financial support from the Small & Medium Enterprises Development Fund of the HKSAR Government. Co-organisers include the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong Productivity Council. 

GMA chairman Sunny Chai said, "Nations of the European Union have commenced implementing REACH since 1 June this year. This regulation covers all kinds of chemical substances and prominently influences industries. I would like to urge the industries to pay close attention to the implementation of REACH and start preparation early, in order to secure the business development in the future."

At the press briefing, Winco Yung, Associate Professor of the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, pointed out that, "When the regulation entered into force, not only the trading business of chemical substances is affected, other industries that deals with chemical substances in toys, clothing and electronic products are also affected. For the highly concerned chemicals, registration with the European Chemicals Agency is also required, even if the capacity imported to the market has not reach the quantity of one tonne. Therefore, the chemical industry and SMEs are most affected by this new law."

Prof Yung suggested, "All industries which are influenced by the regulation must look into all their products and the component substances and then list out the annual consumption of them. They should also set up independent stocks of the substances produced or imported, and record their quantities every year. In addition, enterprises need to verify the CAS codes of the substances they use, develop the safely data sheet for them, and evaluate the risks they are posing to human beings and the environment."

"To avoid duplicated registration, manufacturers and importers are advised to join hands with other manufacturers or importers to register one substance under one identical name. For the downstream users, they should set up stockroom specialised for substances purchased from the European Union, compile a list of their annual consumption and coordinate with suppliers of those substances. This database can effectively help their own suppliers to gather information for registration," Prof Yung added.

With the funding from the Government, the FHKI and GMA will organise a series of activities in the next two years, including four seminars and four workshops, in order to assist SMEs to comply with the REACH regulation. Experts and officials from the European Union will be invited to take part. Tim Harris, Policy Advisor of the Health & Safety Executive of the UK - the designated authority of REACH in the UK - was the guest speaker of the seminar today and explained the implementation of REACH.

In addition, to provide further technical support, the GMA website (www.gma.org.hk) offers the latest and complete information about REACH, including the regulation, timetable, operation mechanism and preparation procedures for SMEs. Visitors are welcome to raise questions about REACH on the web forum. Leaflets will be published to introduce the operation mechanism and implementation procedures of REACH. This project is dedicated to assist the Hong Kong industry to understand and prepare for REACH.

Media Enquiries
Mr Alvin Leung    Tel: (852) 2732 3108       E-mail: alvin.leung@fhki.org.hk