ERJ staff report (DS)
London -- The UK-based Chemical Business Association (CBA) claims the recently announced discounts on REACH registration fees were of 'doubtful value' in making the new legislation affordable for small and medium-sized firms (SMEs).
The European Commission has now formally announced the scale of REACH registration fees and announced a range of discounts for SMEs. Medium-sized firms qualify for a discount of 30%; small firms 60%; and micro firms qualify for a discount of 90%.
The definition of each size-category is based on thresholds relating to headcount, annual turnover and balance sheet total.
The definition of Medium small and micro companies is that a Medium company should have less than 250 employees and an annual turnover of 50 million Euros or less and an Annual Balance Sheet total of 43 million Euros or less; a Small company should have less than 50 employees and an annual turnover of 10 million Euros or less and an Annual Balance Sheet total of 10 million Euros or less; a micro company should have less than 10 employees and an annual turnover of 2 million Euros or less and an Annual Balance Sheet total of 2 million Euros or less.
â€œThe thresholds contained in the definitions used by the Commission have remained at the level set when they were first announced in May 2003. In the intervening five years, chemicals have been subject to a period of significant price inflation. For many companies, this has resulted in sharply increasing levels of annual sales. It means that - today - only a very few firms will actually qualify for the 60% and 90% discounts because their turnover will exceed the small and micro thresholds,â€ said Melvyn Whyte, Chairman of CBA's REACH Task Force.
â€œIf this is a genuine error on the part of the Commission, it should move quickly to rectify it. We suggest that the definitions thresholds are retrospectively adjusted for price inflation over the last five years. We also suggest that the Commission makes a commitment to further adjustments for inflation throughout the implementation period of REACH - to 2018. This is the only way it can give full effect to its original intentions,â€ said Whyte.
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Press release from CBA