REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals. REACH is a regulation of the European Union (EU). It was created to accomplish two primary objectives. First, it protects the environment and individuals from the risks created by chemicals. Second, it provides an assessment of substances permitting a reduction in animal testing.
REACH applies to nearly every chemical. Whether the chemical is used by consumers or industry. This is why nearly every company must consider REACH testing. The burden of proof is placed on the company. REACH applies to goods manufactured in the EU. It also applied to products made elsewhere but sold in the EU.
To achieve REACH compliance, companies must identify and manage risk. Companies must show how the substance can be used safely. They must also explain risk management measures to users. If risks cannot be managed, the substance can be restricted.
How does REACH define a substance:
A substance is a chemical element and its compounds. This applies to the natural state or when derived from a manufacturing process. Substances can include additives. These additives include those needed to preserve stability or impurity.
There are exclusions. Solvents that can be separated without affecting the stability of the substance are excluded. Solvents that can be removed without changing the composition are excluded as well.
Who does REACH apply to:
REACH compliance is required for EU nations and member states. Registration and labeling are required of importers established in the EU. Non-EU companies are not directly responsible. But, they must supply the information to the EU reps who are.
The EU guides who must comply. Here are some questions to consider.
- What do you export to the EU?
- Do your products contain substances? If so, require registration?
- Are your products affected by other requirements? This could include notification. It could also include authorization.
- Is there an advantage to appointing only representative? This rep could fulfill the obligations.
- Do your products require CLP classification?
- Do your products require CLP labeling?
- Do your products require CLP packaging?
How REACH impacts companies:
As previously stated, REACH impacts nearly every product. It also impacts nearly every company in the supply chain. Here is why REACH is important:
To manufacturers, REACH applies if you make chemicals. It also applies if you supply chemicals. REACH evaluation is needed if the chemical is made or sold in the European Union.
To an importer, REACH applies to chemicals brought in from other areas. The chemical could be a finished product. It could also be a single chemical or mixture for future sale. For instance, chemicals for clothing, furniture, and consumer sale apply.
Downstream users must consider REACH. Almost every product contains chemicals. It is important to recognize the requirements.