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REACH Authorisation
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Spotlight on the elements of the Application for Authorisation

► Socio-Economic Analysis

The socio-economic analysis (SEA) merges all elements gathered for the Application dossier into an evaluation of costs and benefits for society. It compares what will happen if Authorisation were to be refused (non-use scenario) with the situation where Authorisation is granted (baseline scenario). Under the REACH Authorisation procedure, an SEA is a compulsory part of an application for Authorisation whenever the risks to human health or the environment from the use of an Annex XIV substance are not adequately controlled. Also when adequate control can be shown, an SEA may be produced by the applicant to support his application. Any third party may also produce an SEA in support of information on alternatives.

Do not make the SEA too complex! The SEA guidance advises on a step-wise approach: from simple to complex.

Good to knows on SEA:

Methodology development
ECHA and some Member State institutions such as the Dutch RIVM are active in developing and promoting the application of socio-economic analysis methods in the field of regulating chemicals. These methodologies will find applications in other non-REACH environmental and human health areas (e.g. Environmental quality standards, Occupational exposure levels).

Costs of risk management
ECHA is working to assess the compliance costs of reducing emissions or use of specific chemicals by using alternative substances or techniques. This is relevant in both Authorisation and Restriction processes, as compliance costs of risk management options are one of the key issues that the Socio-economic Analysis Committee needs to give an opinion on when examining a restriction proposal or a request for Authorisation.

Willingness to pay to avoid certain health impacts
ECHA is working to examine the economic value of benefits of avoiding selected adverse human health outcomes due to exposure to chemicals. This information can be used as a part of the socio-economic analysis, in the evaluation of health and environmental impacts of chemicals.

Understanding socio-economic analysis
With the aim of increasing the understanding of the role of socio-economic analysis as part of chemicals risk management, ECHA organises workshops, seminars and other events to build the capacity of Member States and stakeholders to perform socio-economic Analysis.

Data sources for socio-economic analysis
ECHA maintains a website with a number of sources of information that may be of use to those preparing a socio-economic analysis under REACH.

NeRSAP ECHA, Member State experts and stakeholders, some of them in the metals industry (including NI), have set up the “Network of REACH SEA and Analysis of Alternatives practitioners” (NeRSAP) to discuss very practical issues and experiences.

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