News

Verification of fee reductions - ECHA's Management Board adjusts administrative charge levels

ECHA/NA/15/18

The Management Board of ECHA has revised the levels of the administrative charge. The new scales of the charge take into account the financial gain made from an incorrect declaration of company size. The review leads to reduced levels of the administrative charge being applied in certain cases where a wrong company size is established and where the difference between the incorrectly claimed fee and the applicable fee is small, such as for joint submissions in the low tonnage bands. The administrative charge is levied by ECHA on registrants that, in the process of verification, cannot prove their declared SME size category.

Helsinki, 12 June 2015 - The Commission Regulation on REACH fees and charges provides for significant reductions in fees for registrants that qualify for the EU definition of a micro, small or medium-sized (‘SME') company. Registrants self-declare their company size when submitting a registration in REACH-IT, and later self-declarations are verified by ECHA to ensure that only genuine SMEs benefit from reduced fees. In accordance with that Regulation, registrants that fail to demonstrate their entitlement to the claimed reduced SME fees, are required to pay the correct fee as well as an administrative charge. 

ECHA's Management Board decision entered into force on 4 June 2015 following the favourable opinion of the European Commission. The decision sets the new scales of the administrative charge. The adjustment in the scales follows a judgment of the General Court of the European Union in October 2014 that saw ECHA's earlier decision inapplicable to a certain case.

The newly revised scales of the administrative charge are calculated in proportion to the financial gain made from an incorrect SME company size declaration (the difference between the fees applicable to the correct company size category and the reduced SME fees incorrectly paid). The levels of the administrative charge that were set by ECHA's Management Board, in 2013, serve as a maximum ceiling. The revised scales of the administrative charge are presented in the following table:

Size of company

Level of administrative charge (EUR)

Large

19 900 or 2.5 x financial gain (whichever is lower)

Medium

13 900 or 2.5 x financial gain (whichever is lower)

Small

7 960 or 2.5 x financial gain (whichever is lower)

 

The new scales of the administrative charge now apply to company size verifications which have not yet been concluded and will thus not apply retroactively.

Finally, in order to avoid the administrative charge, registrants should inform ECHA's Helpdesk immediately, in cases where they have incorrectly declared their company size category but have not yet been approached by ECHA for the verification.