According to a report issued by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), one out of every ten companies were found to be using unregistered chemical substances. Under the REACH regulations, companies are prohibited from using chemical substances unless those substances were registered on or before December 1, 2008. In addition, the ECHA report found that 67 percent of the inspected companies were in violation of one or more provisions of REACH or the Classification, Labeling and Packaging regulations (which complement the REACH regulations). Notwithstanding the fairly systemic non-compliance noted in the report, enforcement was very sporadic with fines being levied in only eight cases and criminal proceedings being initiated in only 4 cases (compared to 789 total instances of non-compliance). Under REACH, enforcement authority is vested with each individual member state. Responding to the fairly low incidence of enforcement action by individual member states, ECHA issued a statement noting that failure to comply with REACH's registration requirements constituted a "major" breach of REACH and that the individual member states should adopt an enforcement approach that is "proportional, effective and dissuasive."
Please click here to see a copy of the ECHA report.