REACH stands for the Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. The REACH Regulation entered into force on 1st June 2007 to streamline and improve the former legislative framework for chemicals of the European Union (EU). REACH also creates the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) which has a central co-ordination and implementation role in the overall process. ECHA is located in Helsinki, Finland and will manage the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction processes for chemical substances to ensure consistency across the European Union.
REACH is important, since it affects all manufacturers, importers and downstream users of metals and chemicals in the European Union. Companies should be prepared, and fully aware of, the impact this new legislation has on their business.
All substances imported or manufactured within the EEA, whether alone or in mixtures/alloys, unless an exemption exists
All uses of these substances throughout their life cycle
All phase-in substances needed to be pre-registered by 2008 in order to benefit from the phased-in registration deadlines
All pre-registered phase-in substances greater than or equal to 1000 tonnes per year by 30 November 2010
All pre-registered phase-in substances greater than or equal to 100 tonnes per year by 31 May 2013
All pre-registered phase-in substances greater than or equal to 1 tonne per year by 31 May 2018
Any non-phase-in substances or phase-in substances not pre-registered must be registered before import/manufacture goes above 1 tonne per year
The thresholds apply per year per legal entity.
Information to be shared between all those importing and/or manufacturing a particular substance – by means of a Substance Information Exchange Forum (SIEF), which leads to the joint registration process
The testing of substances in order to assess risk
Risk management information to be made available to customers along the supply chain in the form of safety data sheets
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) provides comprehensive information on all matters relating to REACH and CLP (being phased in in line with REACH and regulating the determination and communication of the hazards of chemicals and mixtures within Europe)
The National Inspectorates for each EU country can be found here.
Eurometaux's REACH Metals Gateway provides valuable information and guidance to industry stakeholders relative to the implementation and requirements of the REACH Regulation.