REGULATION (EC) No 1907/2006 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)
REACH aims to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. This is done by the four processes of REACH, namely the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals. REACH also aims to enhance innovation and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry.
"No data no market": REACH places responsibility on industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances. Manufacturers and importers are required to gather information on the properties of their chemical substances, which will allow their safe handling, and to register the information centrally at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki. ECHA is the central point in the REACH system: it manages the databases necessary to operate the system, co-ordinates the in-depth evaluation of suspicious chemicals and is building up a public database in which consumers and professionals can find hazard information.
- REACH also calls for the progressive substitution of the most dangerous chemicals (referred to as "substances of very high concern" – in short ‘SVHC’) when suitable alternatives have been identified.
- REACH is relevant within the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA consists of all members states of the European Union, as well as of Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
- Compliance with REACH is mandatory for companies placing articles on the market in the EEA. It is important to understand that REACH is applicable not only for chemicals per se but for all types of substances, mixtures and articles as defined in the regulation – including articles used in daily life.
- Whilst REACH was adopted in order to amalgamate several individual regulations and directives into one piece of legislation, it is considered now to be probably the most complex EU Regulation enterprises within the EEA have to deal with. In particular, the related challenges for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) can be considerable.
- REACH came into force on June 1st, 2007.
- Link to REACH ( https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32006R1907 )