Welcome to the September issue of the NCEC newsletter

Welcome to another edition of the NCEC newsletter in this issue we report back on a variety of our activities over the last few months and bring you news about new NCEC services designed to support your compliance programmes.

Starting in Asia, we extend a big thank you to Professor Sang-Tae Chung from INJE University for his excellent talk on national emergency response schemes at this month’s ChemCon Asia held in Seoul, Korea. We were glad to provide input based on our expertise of operating a national chemical emergency centre and to learn more about the continued progress in South Korea towards enhanced standards of chemical safety.

We are looking forward to our 40th anniversary in the autumn and are excited to be holding a celebratory event at London’s Royal Society of Chemistry on 13th November. The event will involve presentations from regulatory experts and industry leaders and will culminate in an evening drinks reception and celebration, providing excellent networking opportunities for attendees. Please do contact me if you would like more information on this exclusive event.

In this issue we bring you details of the growing global network of chemical consultants. Led and developed by NCEC to build on national expertise and share best practice and regulatory compliance information at an international scale. We hope the network will achieve great things.

We also look at the impact of REACH on SMEs from now and 2018. We give insight into our specialised SME support services and our newer offerings in DGSA consultancy and lithium battery safety services, alongside our regular feature of interesting calls.

Daniel Haggarty

Director, Chemical Risk Management (NCEC)


Email: ncec@ricardo-aea.com
Web: the-ncec.com

 Tel: +44 (0) 1235 753248

The landscape following the May 2013 REACH deadline and the implementation of a new biocide regulation

2013 REACH deadline

Figures have been released by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) following the 31 May 2013 deadline for registering substances imported into or manufactured in the European Union, in quantities of in between 100t and 1,000t/year under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of CHemicals (REACH) Regulation. These show that of the 9,084 registration dossiers received, 9,030 were granted and 19% of these were submitted by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) including micro-sized companies. In terms of the number of companies involved, 3,188 submitted dossiers and 34% of these were SMEs.

Compared with the 2010 figures, this year’s figures show a 5% increase in the number of SMEs registering. There was also an increase in the number of dossiers submitted by Only Representatives (ORs), which rose from 19% in 2010 to 23% in 2013.

Looking ahead to the final deadline in 2018, there could be even more SMEs registering as they are more likely to be affected because of the smaller quantities involved (1t to 100t).

Because of the expected increase in SME registrations, NCEC has designed a new service specifically aimed at supporting these companies through all the stages of REACH registration. These services can help companies plan their registrations and, therefore, spread the costs involved. This is especially important for smaller companies because, although the ECHA administrative costs are staggered according to company size and tonnage, the cost of the required letters of access may not be and SMEs can still face a large fee at registration. Please contact us to find out more.

New biocide regulation

A new regulation on biocides (EU No 528/2012), which was adopted on the 22 May 2012, came into force on 1 September 2013 and replaces the former Directive (98/8/EC). The new regulation requires all biocidal products to have authorisation before they can be placed on the market. There must also be previous approval for the active substances within the biocide products. A specific IT platform (R4BP3 – Register for Biocidal Products) has been set up. It can be used to submit any application and act as a platform for data/information exchange. As with REACH dossiers, the registration documents for biocides need to be completed in the International Uniform Chemical Information Database (IUCLID) software before it can be submitted.

Biocides can be found in disinfectants, preservatives (for materials) and insect repellents, and other products where they are used to reduce bacteria, mould and other harmful organisms. This new regulation aims to increase safety while making the authorisation process easier for all involved. Companies can now apply for an EU-wide authorisation for their biocidal products which, the European Commission estimates, will result in a saving of €2.7 billion over the next 10 years. Also, as data sharing became obligatory under the new regulation, there will also be a reduction in animal testing.

Further information on REACH and the new regulation on biocides can be found on the ECHA website or on the European Commission’s website European Commission Website.

NCEC’s lithium battery service

What is the service?

Lithium batteries pose a significant chemical safety risk because:

  • They contain hazardous chemicals that can have health effects and increase the risk of fire.
  • They store a significant amount of energy which is dangerous if suddenly released.
  • Their technology is fast developing, resulting in constant adaptations to the batteries and changes to the associated hazards, in a quickly growing market.
  • Companies making and handling lithium battery products may be unused to dealing with chemical hazards.
  • Regulatory bodies pay particular attention to these risks and recent years have seen the introduction of significant new legislative demands to minimise them.

NCEC’s services allow companies in any part of the lithium battery supply chain to establish and maintain safe, compliant practices. Our expertise in chemical safety training and regulatory knowledge, help us equip our customers with the knowledge they need to be compliant.

Additionally, our dangerous goods safety adviser (DGSA) service helps European companies meet the requirements of the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR). We can also provide an emergency response telephone number that can be printed on your packaging and called in case of an emergency.

NCEC’s expertise

We are the world leading and national emergency response service and have a broad skills base supporting these services. We have legal experts, qualified DGSA capabilities and proven trainers. Our close-knit team has amassed vast organisational learning and is in the perfect position to design a service exactly around your requirements. 

Hazmat 2014

30 April and 1 May 2014 at Eastwood Hall, Nottingham





Now in its 7th year, the Hazmat conference continues to be an essential opportunity for hazmat specialists to share experience and knowledge with like-minded professionals working in the hazmat and chemical incident industry. The conference draws on the expertise of a range of hazmat professionals and industry leaders, NCEC’s own Emergency Responders, and experts and specialists from Tactical Hazmat, our co-organisers. Hazmat 2014 is again being supported by Fire Times, our media partner, and Ambulance UK, sponsor for the ambulance sector.

Hazmat 2014 will have a greater focus on multi-agency working, which we hope will encourage more people from the police and ambulance services to attend.

The programme for 2014 is developing well with a number of speakers now confirmed including:

  • Keynote Speaker, Dave Walton, Chief Fire Officers Association Hazmat Lead, Assistant Chief Fire Officer West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.
  •  Mike Callan, USA.
  • Chris Case, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service.
  • Brooke Rogers, Kings College London and Blake Edwards, West Midlands Police.
  •  Steve Lamb, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.
  • Louise Uffindell, Public Health England.
  •  Ali Fawcett, Cleveland Police.
  • Matt Gable, Environment Agency.
  • James Price, West Midlands Ambulance Service.
  • Jim Stewart-Evans, Public Health England.
  • Helen Walker and Simon Jones, NCEC.
  • Kevin Miller, Tactical Hazmat.
  • Rob Mitchell and Bob Hark, Tactical Hazmat.

Topics will include:

  • Joint Emergency Services Interoperability Programme (JESIP) – concept, aim, background and practical application.
  •  Hazmat crime scene.
  •  Case study on multi-agency working.
  • Case study on dangerous goods transport incidents.
  •  ‘Scale up, scale down’.
  •  Security of hazmat.
  •  Presentation on the Air Quality Cell.
  •  Evidence base behind shelter and evacuation decisions in chemical and radiological incidents.
  • A presentation on Exercise Arden - a multi-agency chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNe) scenario that tested 'human factors' in an emergency response situation and was held earlier in the year.
  • Chemsafe.

Following the success of the workshops and scenario sessions at Hazmat 2013, we will be running these popular features next year. However, Hazmat 2014 will have four shorter sessions that will be run twice to give delegates the opportunity to attend two sessions. Details of the sessions will be released over the coming months and first choice will be given to delegates who have already registered for Hazmat 2014.

Early-bird registration has been extended for NCEC Newsletter readers. Please download the booking form and return it by 4 October quoting 'NCEC Newsletter' to benefit from our lowest rate.

NCEC in Action

NCEC Global Intermediary Network helps international clients stay ahead of regulatory pressures

To offer truly global solutions, NCEC’s Global Intermediary Network of carefully selected local expert partners helps clients overcome the increasingly complex regulatory requirements as they expand into new geographical regions.

The Network enables us to offer clients a high-quality service providing the latest regional and country-specific regulatory advice. This can range from an explanation of the differences in adoption of Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) in the USA (US Occupational Safety and Health Administration – 2012) and Canada, to China and South Korean Chemicals Information (K-Reach) nuances, and global emergency response requirements. The Network also enables us to cover all of our clients' regulatory needs and helps to mitigate chemical risk throughout their supply chain.

The appointment of intermediaries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific regions has proved invaluable because it enables us to offer multi-dimensional service offerings, including technical and regulatory consultancy support. This helps our clients stay ahead of the competition and is vital where international business growth requires regulatory alertness.

For more information please contact us here.

Out and About

Chemcon Asia, Seoul

Chemcon Asia was an excellent opportunity for NCEC to hear about regulatory changes around the world. Local speakers, who included government policy advisors and setters, provided a good opportunity for us to understand what some of the local nuances are and how we can stay ahead of the game in supporting our clients in an increasingly complex regulatory arena.

Caroline Li from BASF gave a very interesting presentation on ‘Product stewardship through the value chain’ and explained how companies are now using investments in the Responsible Care arena to provide an advantage over competitors. For many years, NCEC has helped its clients understand the importance of investing in chemical risk management to help ensure the risks to organisations, their clients and supply chains are mitigated. It is then imperative that this message is shared with all stakeholders.

Product stewardship, including emergency planning, supply chain management (safety data sheet (SDS) management and updating) and customised emergency response support are now being used by companies, who have invested in these areas, to stay ahead of their competitors. Whether it is through internal teams or consultative support, this important pattern is at the forefront of companies’ minds when trying to find that extra business advantage.

We are very grateful to Professor Sang-Tae Chung from INJE University for presenting as our local representative. He provided an insightful overview of the difficulties in establishing an emergency response centre in Korea and, indeed, the problems companies are likely to face if setting up an internal system. He explained the benefits of being able to call on the expertise of a well-established, truly global, service – such as that supplied by NCEC.

Chemical emergency response was the fundamental driver behind the Korean Government setting up the emergency response centre as part of its Responsible Care commitments. While companies did not see the value of the support that the centre provides, the recent regulatory changes in Asia, and indeed other parts of the world, are a clear message that regulations are becoming more stringent and require more specific emergency response cover.

It was clear from questions throughout the week that companies are finding it harder to keep abreast of regulatory changes regarding local emergency response requirements.

If your company is having the same difficulties, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team of in-house experts and global network of intermediaries are well placed to help you understand the regulatory changes that are taking place around the world.

Could this be the paradigm of Responsible Care implementation across the chemical industry?

Finally, congratulations to our prize draw winner – Dr Wolfgang Nüdling, from Wacker Chemia AG.

Interesting calls 

Chemical spill at a school

NCEC recently received a call from a fire officer who was dealing with a spill of bromine at a school. The 200ml bottle of bromine was stored in a chemical cupboard, but the lid was missing and staff had fitted a bung in its place. The warm weather had caused the bromine to expand and leak out of the bottle through the gaps around the bung. The fire officer was planning to send in a crew wearing gas-tight suits to move the bottle to a fume cupboard.

Our Emergency Responder advised that the fume cupboard would reduce the risks associated with the contents of the bottle. However, the Emergency Responder needed to check that the fume cupboard would scrub the fumes before releasing them to the atmosphere and that this would not contaminate it to the point where it could not be used again. The Emergency Responder also provided advice on the environmental hazards of bromine, cleaning up the spilt material and decontaminating the gas-tight suits.

Immediate access to expert advice, remote from the incident scene, means that the whole picture is considered. This allows incidents to be resolved in a way that reduces their impacts and the subsequent actions required.

Advising on a hydrochloric acid spill

A fire officer contacted NCEC about a 1,000-litre spill of hydrochloric acid. He was planning to use water sprays to knock down the vapour and was considering neutralising the spill with 1 tonne of soda ash.

Our Emergency Responder advised that water sprays could be used to reduce the spread of the vapour, but the water run-off would need to be contained as it would contain dilute hydrochloric acid. The responder also advised that the acid should not enter drains and suggested alternative methods for dealing with the spill.

Our Emergency Responders draw on their in-depth chemical knowledge and experience dealing with incidents to provide the emergency services with all the options for dealing with incidents and the necessary advice to select the most appropriate one.

Fuming chemicals in a laboratory

A fire officer called NCEC regarding an incident in a laboratory involving a mixture of three chemicals – sulphuric acid, ammonia and formic acid.

Our Emergency Responder provided advice on the likely composition of the fumes produced by this mixture and suggested that gas-tight suits and breathing apparatus be worn. The responder also discussed methods for cleaning up the mixture.

Immediate access to qualified chemists ensures that the most appropriate actions and suitable precautions are taken to resolve incidents efficiently and safely.



CRAC Shanghai 2013 – REACH24H Chemical Regulatory Annual Conference

21 – 22 October 2013, Shanghai, China

The 5th ’International Chemical Regulation REACH Workshop’ is now formally renamed Chemical Regulatory Annual Conference (CRAC). This year’s conference, which is co-hosted by REACH24H Consulting Group, Zhejiang Institute of Standardization and Zhejiang WTO/TBT Research & Response Center will focus more on the developments in chemical management legislation from a global perspective. CRAC 2013 will take place at the Intercontinental Shanghai, Pudong.

NCEC will be attending and supporting REACH24H at the event. If you would like to meet with us at this event, please contact richard.davey@ricardo-aea.com.

IATA 3rd Lithium Battery Workshop

19 – 20 November 2013, Limerick, Ireland

The 3rd IATA Lithium Battery Workshop will review the changes to the air transport regulations that became effective on 1 January 2013, and the requirements for testing lithium cells and batteries contained in Amendment 1 to the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria.

The objective of the Workshop is to provide a practical explanation on how to ship lithium batteries, as well as the application of the test requirements set out in Subsection 38.3 of the UN Manual of Tests and Criteria. It will also promote the best practices for regulatory compliance and safety that can help reduce the incidence of delayed shipments and avoid potential penalties or fines resulting from regulatory breaches.

NCEC will be attending this event, please come along and see us at our stand.


Chemical Spill Response - 10 October

Aimed at those working in a chemical environment who are setting up, or already have, a spill response team. Chemical Spill Response provides you with an understanding of what chemicals are, the ability to interpret the accompanying information, the knowledge to assess the risks and determine the proper safety aspects, a guide to spill response management using best practice and the confidence to make a safe response. The course does not involve any physical practical work, but does include some table-top exercises to help develop understanding.

Cost: £295 + VAT

Chemical Hazard Awareness - 31 October 2013

Chemical Hazard Awareness gives you the vital knowledge to make better risk assessments of the work you do and enables you to make the right choices about safe handling procedures, select the correct protective equipment, and make an effective and safe response to a spillage.

Cost: £295 + VAT

COSHH Assessment - 21 November

The COSHH Assessment course, presented by Ricardo-AEA’s COSHH Competent Assessor, will provide the necessary knowledge to complete this task effectively. Including an overview of the regulations, the identification of hazards, safety datasheet (SDS) interpretation, the effects of chemicals and the assessment process. Delegates are encouraged to bring their own assessments or details of workplace activities for discussion at the end of the day to help them consider the hazards, risks and likely exposures involved.

Cost: £295 + VAT

To book a place or for more information, please contact us on +44 (0)1235 753248 and/or email ncec@ricardo-aea.com.

Bespoke training courses

We also offer bespoke training courses that can be delivered on your premises. This means we can tailor the content so that it relates directly to your organisation, thus meeting your specific needs and providing a cost-effective option.

The areas covered by our training are:                                                

Chemical incident response

Chemical hazard awareness and safety

Legislation compliance

  • COSHH Assessment - how to carry out a COSHH assessment.                                  

To discuss your training needs, or for more information, please contact us or call us on +44 (0)1235 753248. 


The landscape following the May 2013 REACH deadline and the
implementation of a new biocide regulation

NCEC’s lithium battery service

Hazmat 2014

NCEC in action

NCEC Global Intermediary Network
helps international clients stay ahead of regulatory

Out and about

Chemcon Asia, Seoul

Interesting calls

Chemical spill at a school
Advising on a hydrochloric acid spill
Fuming chemicals in a laboratory