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REACH - Concern over confidentiality of ECHA information

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Concerns regarding the confidentially of information submitted by companies in REACHi IT and REACH Information Portal for Enforcement were raised during ECHA’s board meeting in September. Alain Perroy, Director General of CEFIC, said that it was the responsibility of ECHA and the Board of Management to ensure that confidential information received by the agency was not disclosed, and pointed out that the commercial damage caused by such a leak could potentially be huge. Mr Perroy warned that any weakness of the security aspects of REACH IT and REACH Information Portal could not be tolerated, and that ECHA should carry out audits of Competent Authorities on their compliance to security requirements. While ECHA insists that damage caused to third parties as a result of a security breach of REACH IT should be borne by the Member State authority responsible, some national authorities have expressed concern that this leaves them open to huge potential liability. Mr Perroy suggested that ECHA and national authorities should sit down and assess the responsibility they can both take, and then enter into adapted agreements that reflect each particular situation.