What is REACH?

EU chemicals policy

Chemical plant
 

REACH is a single system which requires the Registration of all substances manufactured or imported in the EU in quantities starting from 1 ton/year. Producers and importers have the responsibility to demonstrate the Safe use of the chemicals in the intended applications based on their hazardous properties, uses, exposures and volumes. Use of a substance will be legal only in registered uses

This requires information to be passed up and down the supply chain between all actors

The Regulation exempts certain substances to be registered when covered by other policies or present such a low risk in order to avoid duplication of the provisions of other legislations.

REACH reforms the current legislation by:

  • Providing an improved protection to human health and the environment,
  • Increasing knowledge about the properties and uses of existing substances,
  • Establishing an efficient risk assessment process.
  • Requiring the registration of all substances manufactured or imported in quantities starting from 1ton/year

The main stages

Registration requires gathering data on physicochemical, toxicological and ecotoxicological properties of substances as well as specifying individual identified uses and assessments of the associated risks and safety measures connected to these uses.

Under REACH, manufacturers and importers will have to submit information to the EU Chemical Agency in Helsinki (ECHA).

Essential parts of the registration dossier are:

  • a technical dossier (for substances > 1 ton/y)
  • and an additional Chemical Safety Report (for substances > 10 tons/y)

In the Evaluation, the EU Member States can check the compliance of any dossier submitted for the registration of each substance and carry out a more detailed check according to the risk for human health and the environment. Authorization will be required for each substance belonging to specific groups with certain hazardous properties.

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