At the end of 2006, the European Parliament and the European Council approved the REACH regulation regarding the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. This regulation came into force on 1 June 2007, with the purpose of improving the protection of human health and the environment, as well as improving upon the previously existing legal framework.
REACH replaces more than 40 separate pieces of legislation with a single set of regulations. ECHA, the European CHemical Agency, has also been created. It is responsible for administering the central database of chemical substances and processing new entries to the registry.
REACH puts the onus on companies that manufacture or market chemical substances or preparations in Europe, in amounts equivalent to or exceeding one tone per year, to evaluate the risks stemming from their use and take whatever steps are necessary to deal with any identifiable risk, by submitting a registration dossier for each substance to the Agency.
The Agency will evaluate the proposals for testing to ensure that unnecessary tests are not carried out, especially those involving animals.
REACH also proposes an authorization system so that substances of very high concern are properly monitored and gradually replaced. These substances will be included in Appendix XIV. Once included in this list, the industry must obtain authorization from the Agency to continue using these substances. The European authorities may also place restrictions on the manufacture, use or sale of substances that pose unacceptable hazards to human health or the environment.
Manufacturers and importers must provide downstream users with all the information necessary to prevent risks and enable safe use of the substance. This will be achieved through the new system of classification and labeling (CLP Regulations) and Safety Data Sheets (SDS).
Some substances may be exempt from some or all of the REACH obligations (see Appendices 4 and 5).
The obligation to register has been in force since 1 June 2008. Companies that pre-registered can benefit from extended registration periods. The applicable registration date depends on the tonnage band and hazardous properties of the substance. The last remaining deadline is 31 May 2018.
Gram mol has been working on the REACH process for several years. Our aim is to be able to continue supplying all the products we sell in compliance with the REACH regulations.