REACH-SERV arrow What is TESS?
What is TESS? Print

From 1st June 2007, the new Regulation 1907/2006, known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and registration of CHemicals), became law in the  EU. The new law requires the registration of all chemicals which are manufactured, used or placed on the market in quantities of 1 tonne or more per year within the EU.  Registration requires the submission of substance data on health and ecological impact. The costs involved in carrying out the necessary testing could be so substantial that some smaller manufacturers might be forced out of business. Furthermore, chemicals of 'very high concern' may require authorisation for use, and some may be restricted.  This will lead to substitution in many cases, and it is estimated that 1-2% of substances will disappear from the EU market.

The TESS initiative has been set up to help SMEs comply with and survive the impact of REACH. Its goal is to solve a complicated situation by developing a simple tool.  

In the closing weeks of 2006, the European Parliament passed a finalized legislation to provide better control on chemical manufacturing in Europe. From now on, firms will have to prove that the chemicals they manufacture are safe. To achieve this, the new legislation requires that the manufacturer performs tests and declares potential dangers before certificates of approval can be issued. Under REACH, chemicals of 'very high concern' will require authorisation for manufacture and use, which will lead to substitution in many cases. There are about 30 000 different chemicals being produced across Europe, all of which need to be registered. Since the majority fall into the so-called Specialty and Fines Sector , this is where most of the testing needs to take place. The Speciality and Fines Sector which is responsible for producing many key chemical ingredients accounts for 20000 SME manufacturers and blenders, representing 94% of all manufacturers and formulators in Europe. These SMEs provide the ‘building blocks’ for the European manufacture of dyes, inks, pigments, pharmaceuticals, surfactants, food additives, electronics, advanced materials, sensory products, etc. They also account for a contribution of EUR 157 billion per year to European Gross Value Added. Green, clean and affordable. Because of the new legislation there is a risk that some SMEs involved in the chemicals sector may become vulnerable and need to outsource their manufacturing to Third World Countries . TESS aims to avert this situation. Gathering SMEs and IAGs (Industry Association Groups) from eight European countries, the project aims at supporting European SMEs of the Speciality and Fines Sector in cost-effectively updating to more sustainable supply chains. The TESS consortium is to provide advice and methodologies for low cost compliance to SMEs threatened by the costs involved with the REACH legislation. To this end, the project is developing an online, self-help toolbox enabling these SMEs to identify gaps in their current level of preparedness for REACH. The TESS project partners will thereby focus on four principal areas of research.

TESS will seek to gain in-depth knowledge of REACH legislation, which will be evaluated and simplified in order to adapt it to an SME context. Furthermore, the project partners will use screening and testing techniques to analyse the specific impacts of chemical toxicology on health and on the environment. Another research area will be ‘green chemistry’, with a special focus on its ecological and sustainable approach to the future of SME manufacturing. Finally, the practicalities of sustainable supply chains will be assessed. Four research areas, several outcomes. The results and knowledge gathered through target research will be used in the development of the ‘TESS Toolbox’, which will be put in a real life context and tested by the six SMEs participating in the project. The seven IAGs involved will use their regional and pan-European networks to create awareness and provide training to existing and potential toolbox users. The focus will be on SME users, but larger operators may also benefit from the compiled knowledge system. ‘ Because of the new legislation there is a risk that some SMEs involved in the chemicals sector may become vulnerable and need to outsource their manufacturing to third countries’ ‘TESS is to provide advice and methodologies for low cost compliance to SMEs threatened by the costs involved with the REACH legislation’.

Project title: Toolbox to Evaluate Sustainable Systems (TESS)
Contract number: 30234
Start date: 04/09/2006
Duration: 36 months
Total project cost: € 3 330 754
EC contribution: € 2 555 640
Last Updated ( Friday, 05 December 2008 )
 
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