Following the European Parliament's plenary vote on the REACH directive on David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:"We are pleased that the European Parliament has recognised many of the concerns we raised on behalf of British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

"We believe that the outcome represents a slightly better balance than the original proposal. It supports the high-level aims of protecting human health and the environment, whilst recognising the threat that the original proposals posed to jobs and our competitiveness. After years of discussion and compromises, this represents a more workable and effective solution for SMEs which are the backbone of our economy.

"We are particularly pleased that the European Parliament have recognised the need to introduce risk into the registration proposals. Reducing the data requirements for substances produced in low volumes and permitting use and exposure categories will significantly reduce the burden that this directive will impose. Further proposals to protect and help SMEs, such as lower fees, will also benefit many of our smallest companies.

"We do acknowledge there are still some issues we would like to see resolved such as the introduction of mandatory substitutions - we will continue to lobby on behalf of small and medium sized businesses around the UK."