Seref Yılmaz previously ran the directorate’s chemicals sub division
Turkey’s Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation (MoEU) has appointed Seref Yılmaz as head of the chemicals directorate in charge of registration and classification of substances, risk assessment and the management of priority chemicals.
Mr. Yılmaz previously ran the directorate’s chemicals sub division dealing with registration and classification. As head of the directorate, he replaces Yahya Kesimal, who has now been promoted to deputy head of the general directorate of environmental management. The latter sits above and includes the chemicals directorate.
A graduate in environmental engineering, Mr. Yılmaz has been at the MoEU for the past 18 years. Prior to that, he worked at the Turkish oil products distribution company, Petrol Ofisi.
At the MoEU, Mr. Yılmaz has been heavily involved in the development and publication of Turkey’s REACH-like Regulation, KKDIK. The law came into effect in December last year and sets a registration deadline of 2023, with pre-registrations due by the end of 2020.
Ministry officials said pre-registrations under the new law were steadily flowing in, with “tens of thousands” already recorded. This includes previous entries rolled over from Turkey’s CLP-aligned classification, labelling and packaging legislation (SEA).
Around 10,000 companies are expected to submit pre-registrations under KKDIK, industry observers have said.
Murat Akyüz, board member of the Istanbul Chemicals and Chemical Products Exporters Association (IKMIB), praised the work the ministry has carried out so far. The IT tool is running smoothly, he said, and companies logging in pre-registrations have not experienced any major glitches.
The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) had previously raised concerns over the incompatibility of Turkey’s IT software (KKS) with the REACH IT tool, IUCLID.
SMEs on board
Mr. Akyüz also said SME participation in pre-registrations was “very high” and progressing “without any problems”. Around 80% of the Turkish chemicals industry consists of smaller manufacturers.
“So far, I have not been made aware of any serious backlash from the SME sector,” Mr. Akyüz said. KKDIK training programmes are being offered across the country according to industry need, he added.
Turkey’s recent economic crisis amid a tumbling lira against the dollar has meant that many of the small-sized firms are redirecting their operations towards exports, he said.
Meanwhile, the MoEU has approved another institution to provide training for chemical safety experts. KKDIK sets a high bar for such professionals – KDUs in Turkish – with an extra annex specifying the training and qualifications needed to sign off chemical safety reports (CSRs).