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REACH-IT

Legal entity

B. SME Verification

What documents are needed in REACH-IT for SME fee reductions under REACH?

Under REACH, registrants and applicants can benefit from reduced fees established for micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Companies declare their SME size at the time of dossier submission, based on which ECHA issues an invoice. At a later stage, ECHA carries out an ex-post assessment, to verify the correctness of the company size. The SME verification process is important to ensure that only genuine SMEs benefit from the reduced fees and that correct fees are collected.

Before declaring the SME status in REACH-IT, companies should be familiar with the rules set by the Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC on SME definition.

Companies should upload documentary evidence to their REACH-IT account to support SME status claims. This is only required for those submissions, which are related to SME fee reductions.

The documentary evidence should include:

  • Information about the ownership structure (upstream, downstream) at the time of the submission.
  • The financial statements (consolidated, if available) together with accompanying notes for the two latest accounting periods before the time of the submission.
  • Official certificate/information confirming the average number of employees for each of the two latest accounting periods before the time of submission.

The documents listed above shall be provided for all partner and linked enterprises, as defined by Article 3 of the aforementioned Commission Recommendation.

In case of Only Representatives, the assessment on whether the SME reduction applies is done by reference to the headcount, turnover and balance sheet information of the non-EU company represented and its linked and partner enterprises.

All documents uploaded to REACH-IT are treated confidentially by ECHA and used exclusively for size verification purposes. For transparency and traceability reasons, documents cannot be deleted. It is, however, possible to add supplementary documentation to your REACH-IT account at a later stage. The documentation is not assessed immediately, but only once the size verification process has been initiated.

The list of documentary evidence accepted by ECHA can be found in SME verification -page.

Instructions on how to upload documents and other useful information about REACH-IT can be found at Discover REACH-IT -guide.

More information on company’s size assessment and links to the relevant legislation can be found at SME fees under REACH and CLP -page

When do the documents submitted for SME verification require a certified translation?

If the original version of any document is not in one of the official languages of the European Union, a certified translation should be provided.

Legal basis for certified translations is Article 13(3) of the amended Regulation (EC) No 340/2008 on the fees and charges payable to the European Chemicals Agency pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). Please see it at: 

http://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2013:079:0007:0018:EN:PDF

A certified translation is the one which is accompanied by a signed statement that the translator is competent in the source and target languages (a sworn translator) and that the translation is an exact and accurate translation of the source document. The certified translator should have a certificate or a stamp that identifies the services provider and his qualification.

How does a cessation of manufacturing or import of substances affect the SME verification process?

The SME verification process relates to your information obligations at the time of submitting your registration, which includes the obligation to inform ECHA about the eligibility for a fee reduction in accordance with Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 340/2008. Ceasing to manufacture or import of substances have no consequence on that obligation.

If after registering a substance, you have decided to stop manufacturing or importing it, you should still pay the applicable registration fee in full in case ECHA found that you were not eligible for the claimed SME fee reductions. Once the registration fee is paid and, therefore, your registration can be considered complete, you can indicate in REACH-IT that you have ceased the production or import of a substance. If at a later stage you decide to restart manufacturing or importing it, you would only need to report it again in REACH-IT and the registration would still be valid. Otherwise, you would need to submit a new registration and pay a new registration fee.

In case the balance to the correct registration fee is not paid, such registration will be de-activated in ECHA’s database and the rejection of the registration will be communicated to you by a decision.

How does termination of the Only Representative (OR) contract with non-EU enterprise affect the SME verification process?

The SME verification process relates to your information obligations at the time of submitting your registration, which includes the obligation to inform ECHA about the eligibility for a fee reduction in accordance with Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 340/2008. The termination of the OR agreement has no consequence on that obligation.

Since your represented company benefited from reduced SME fee at the time of registration, therefore you, as the appointed OR at that time, are still liable to demonstrate the eligibility for the SME fee reduction obtained, once ECHA initiates the verification of your represented company size. The failure to provide complete documentation would result in ECHA finding your represented enterprise as non-eligible for the claimed SME fee reductions. In such case, the OR would be liable for the difference between the fee already paid and the correct registration fee, as well as the applicable administrative charge.

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