Statistics in brief - Notification of new chemical substances to the EU

Before a new substance is placed on the European market it has to be notified. The documentation detail increases according to substance quantity.

A harmonized European notification system for new substances has been used since 1981. In Sweden the regulation about notification came into force on 1 January 1995.

Number of new substances

Graph - Number of notified new subtances.

Source: Ex-ECB.

The figure shows the annual notifications since 1996. In recent years, ECB received about 250 to 300 new substances per annum. During 2006 the number was halved to about 125 substances. The reason could be that the companies were waiting for the details of the new REACH registration to be elaborated.

Origin of substances

Graph - Origin of notified substances.

Source: Ex-ECB.

Foreign imports, particularly from the USA, Japan and Switzerland represent about half of the newly notified substances. Within the EU, the most important country for domestic manufacture is Germany.

Notifications per functional uses

Graph - Notifications per functional uses.

Source: Ex-ECB.

Notified substances are used for many purposes. Most important are intermediates (substances used for the synthesis of other chemicals) and colouring agents.

About ten per cent of the new substances are used as photochemicals and reprographic agents. Another ten per cent are used as cosmetics and odour agents.

Production volumes

Graph - Production volumes of notified substances.

Source: Ex-ECB.

The major part of the substances, about 56 per cent, are notified for production volumes between one and ten tonnes per annum. About 31 per cent of the substances are produced in smaller volumes and about 12.5 per cent in higher volumes.