OR industry association
Nine companies set up OR industry association
Group aims to establish OR standards and help common interpretation of guidelines
A group of nine Only Representative (OR) service providers have joined together to officially launch a professional industry association—the Only Representative Organisation (ORO). The association aims to set standards and provide a voice for
the emerging sector as REACH is interpreted and implemented. It will hold its first general assembly on 9 December.
It has already begun to develop OR quality standards. Companies wanting to join ORO will have to meet a set of minimum requirements and basic standards. Chemservice managing director, Dieter Drohmann, who has been appointed interim
chairman of the association, says the quality standards will go beyond Article 8 of REACH, which describes what capabilities an OR should possess to represent a non-EU manufacturer. “We are looking for companies that are sustainable in the long
term. They need to have a clear plan. And they need to have established fair contracts that allow their customers to change OR, for example. We would also expect them to have insurance cover,” he adds.
As well as setting up quality standards, ORO will develop a common understanding of REACH requirements for ORs. Dr Drohmann notes that there have been manymisunderstandings and misinterpretations of REACH Article 8 in the past. These are reflected by the two recent corrections of the registration guidance for ORs, he adds.
He says that the role of an OR is extremely important because its actions for each substance of a client could impact all stakeholders in the supply chain, the Substance Information Exchange Fora, and EU and national authorities. Taking the tight
timeframe of REACH into account, he says many non-EU companies and their EU customers are concerned that there is no central access point that can give high quality information on OR issues. ORO aims to provide this missing link in the
future, he notes.
Additionally, the association plans to develop tools to help non-EU manufacturers select the right OR and represent the interests of ORs and non-community manufacturers.
The association will be set up as a non-profit organisation. Membership fees will be worked out before the meeting in December, when the association’s officials will be appointed. ORO invites other OR companies to join as full members and participate in the general assembly. Dr Drohmann notes that ECHA has indicated some 350 ORs have signed on to the agency’s REACH-IT system. He hopes the association will attract a significant number of members.
The following companies have already agreed to join ORO as full members:
BMT Cordah (UK), Chemservice (Germany/Luxembourg), Dr Knoell Consult (Germany), ExperChem (Germany), Likedeelers (Germany), LTS-REACH OR (France), ReachOnly Representative (UK), REACH Representative (Belgium), SWIT Deutschland