Echa has told industry to not be alarmed about a potential shortfall in the estimate of up to 25,000 new substances it expects to be registered by the REACH deadline of 31 May.
In December, SME trade body Ueapme says it was "seriously concerned" about the size of the shortfall and that it is "hardly possible" that another 20,000 substances will be registered in less than half a year.
Stakeholders at the REACH 2018 Stakeholders’ Day in Helsinki last week heard that the numbers were from a research activity conducted about 15 years ago.
On that basis, Echa's director of registration Christel Musset said "I’m not convinced at all that there are actually 25,000 substances in the range of 1-100 tonnes on the European market right now.
"We are hearing rumours of people saying substances may disappear from the supply chain, but until we have companies coming to us saying we are very worried about this type of substance, we cannot do anything," she said. It is a "crystal ball" for Echa, she added.
Cefic’s REACH director Erwin Annys agreed, saying he is "not sure" that all the substances have been on the market. If the number of chemicals registered by 31 May is lower than the estimates, he said "I’m absolutely not sure that the supply chain will miss [them]".
He added that "everyone was astonished" at how accurate the estimation was for the 2010 and 2013 deadlines – "but that was the easy part".
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