LONDON - Results from a recent survey by the European Paint Federation, CEPE, confirm that REACH 2018 will have a significant impact on the British Coatings Federation’s (BCF) members’ ability to innovate and on their competitiveness.

The survey, completed by 65 SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) coatings manufacturers across Europe, confirms that 60 percent of SMEs expect to lose up to 10 raw materials in the run up to the REACH 2018 registration. The BCF has predicted many thousands of niche raw materials will be lost on purely economic grounds, with high registration costs meaning there is no return on investment for suppliers.  

Over half the companies surveyed only get six months notice if they are to lose a raw material, and a staggering 60 percent of respondents say it can take between two and six months to find a suitable replacement for their formulations. 

These results are worrisome for the industry, as 70 percent of SMEs have already lost up to 10 substances, with a significant 30 percent having lost more than 10 substances. 

BCF CEO Tom Bowtell said, “REACH has been voted the most burdensome regulation in the EU by SMEs, and these results reinforce these findings. The BCF has been raising the visibility of how REACH is affecting the competitiveness of the coatings industry for several years, and will continue their work with other trade associations in the supply chain to try and ease the regulatory burden for SMEs. With only 60 percent of SMEs actively checking the registration status of the raw materials that are due for registration by 2018 with their supply chain, we are encouraging our members to ask their suppliers to confirm the availability of raw materials they are using, and to check that they are going to register the substances that are important to them. It is not surprising that over 30 percent of SMEs believe that their competitiveness will have worsened after 2018. The coatings industry is faced with losing its ability to innovate, as more and more raw materials are lost from their formulating armory.”