REACH stands for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals. It entered into force on 1 June 2007.
REACH is legislation that was implemented by the European Union to better the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be presented by chemicals, while also improving the competitiveness of the EU chemicals sector.
REACH, in principle, applies to all chemical substances, including those found in cleaning products, paints, as well as in items like clothing, furniture, and electrical appliances, as well as those utilized in industrial processes and in our daily lives. As a result, the regulation affects the majority of EU-based businesses.
How does REACH work?
REACH establishes procedures for collecting and assessing information on the properties and hazards of substances, and ECHA receives and evaluates individual registrations for compliance.
REACH’s effect on companies
Even those businesses who might not consider themselves to be involved in the chemical industry are impacted by REACH.
In general, under REACH you may have one of these roles:
Manufacturer: – If you produce chemicals, whether for personal use or to sell to others (even if it is for export), you likely have some significant obligations under REACH.
Importer: – If you buy something from outside the EU/EEA, you may have some REACH obligations. It could be single chemicals, mixtures that will be sold later, or finished things like clothes, furniture, or plastic items.
Downstream users: – Most businesses use chemicals, and sometimes they don’t even realise it. If you work with chemicals in your business or job, you should check what your responsibilities are. You might have some duties under REACH.
Companies established outside the EU: – If your business is based outside of the EU, you don’t have to follow the rules of REACH, even if you export your goods into the EU’s customs territory. REACH’s requirements, like registration, are the duty of importers with offices in the European Union or the only representative of a non-EU manufacturer with an office in the European Union.
Companies are responsible for collecting information on the properties and uses of substances they manufacture or import above one tonne a year and assessing the hazards and potential risks presented.
Registration is based on the “one substance, one registration” principle, with analytical and spectral information provided to confirm the substance identity.
For substance registration a fee is usually charged.
Ø Substances to be registered
Before they can manufacture or import a substance, prospective manufacturers and importers must first file an enquiry to ECHA and register the substance.
Evaluation under REACH focuses on three different areas:
- Examination of testing proposals submitted by registrants
- Compliance check of the dossiers submitted by registrants
- Substance evaluation
Once the evaluation is done, registrants may be required to submit further information on the substance.
The authorisation process aims to ensure that substances of very high concern (SVHCs) are progressively replaced by less dangerous substances or technologies where technically and economically feasible alternatives are available.
Restrictions are used to limit or ban the manufacture, placing on the market, or use of a substance, and can apply to any substance, including those not required for registration.
Candidate List substances in articles
When a substance is designated as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) and is added to the Candidate List, it may result in specific legal responsibilities for the importers, makers, and suppliers of an article containing that substance.
Articles which contain substances on the Candidate List in a concentration above 0.1% w/w have to provide sufficient information to allow safe use of the article to their customers.
The candidate list of SVHC (Substance of Very High Concern) now contains a total of 223 substances that may have serious health effects on humans or the environment under REACH Regulation (EC 1907/2006).
Authorisation List (Annex XIV of REACH)
ECHA evaluates the substances on the Candidate List on a regular basis to determine which should be added to the Authorisation List as a top priority. Prioritisation is based on information regarding the intrinsic properties, extensive dispersion, or high volumes of substances that fall under the authorization requirement. As part of the procedure, ECHA initiates a three-month consultation.
The draft recommendation contains the following information, among others:
- Sunset date: – Which prohibits the placing on the market and use of a chemical unless an authorisation is given, or the usage is exempt from authorisation.
- Latest application date: – Which applications must be received if the applicant wants to continue selling or consuming the substance after the sunset date.
- Review periods: – For certain uses, If any.
- Uses exempted: – From the authorisation requirement, if any.
The Authorisation List now contains 59 substances.
Restriction List (Annex XVII of REACH)
When a Member State or ECHA is concerned that a particular substance poses an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment, they can initiate the restriction procedure at the request of the European Commission. ECHA may also propose restrictions on articles containing Authorisation List chemicals (Annex XIV).
The Restriction List now contains 71 Substances.
REACH is legislation implemented by the European Union to protect human health and the environment from the risks of chemicals. It applies to all chemical substances, including those found in cleaning products, paints, clothing, furniture, and electrical appliances, and affects the majority of EU-based businesses. It establishes procedures for collecting and assessing information on the properties and hazards of substances, and ECHA receives and evaluates individual registrations for compliance. Companies established outside the EU don’t have to follow the rules of REACH, even if they export goods into the EU’s customs territory. Registration Companies are responsible for collecting information on the properties and uses of substances they manufacture or import above one tonne a year and assessing the hazards and potential risks presented.
Source: – https://echa.europa.eu/regulations/reach/understanding-reach