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Essential oils sector ready for REACH challenge
Essential oils sector ready for REACH challenge

Today, Friday, April 29, Prodarom, the French fragrance association and IFRA, the International fragrance association, held a fifth round table with all stakeholders from the essential oils sector.

This session, devoted to the development of protocols to assess eco-toxicity properties of natural substances, is the final chapter in a two year commitment from the industry. This final aspect of the program, the environmental assessment, or eco-toxicity of natural substances, required the most effort and imagination in order to develop workable protocols.  

The European chemicals regulation, primarily designed for large volume synthetic substances, set a daunting if not impossible task for the essential oils sector to comply with legislation. The requirements for compliance were revolutionary and extremely complex for both small and medium sized companies as well as the farmers and growers.

After initial protests at the unreasonable requirements of REACH, the essential oils industry, a symbol of French and European know-how, recognized the value of a constructive dialogue between all stakeholders if a resolution were to be found.

The initial deep rooted confrontation between the industry and authorities transformed into sincere cooperation between all stakeholders via a joint initiative with the European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Since 2014, the stakeholders have worked together to establish a program of actions for finding pragmatic solutions to the characterization, classification, environmental assessment and economic aspects related to the REACH registration of essential oils.

This latest Round Table is a milestone in a series of five, based on dialogue and intensive work, which will enable the 2018 registration of these essential oils particularly important in the development of signature fragrances.

This work will strengthen the competitiveness of the essential oils sector enabling compliance with the world’s most advanced system for the assessment of health risks and environmental impacts. Through such compliance essential oils producers can demonstrate their expertise and commitment to consumer confidence worldwide.

"The results of this highly productive dialogue will serve as a reference point for other producers in other regions of the world as well as for other sectors facing similar characteristics" said Pierre Sivac, IFRA President.