REACH(Registration Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals legislation), the European Union regulation for the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals, which entered into force on 1 June 2007, has one key central aim: to protect human health and the environment from the risks arising from the use of chemicals.
REACH has become one of the most complex and far-reaching pieces of regulation ever to originate from Brussels.
REACH intends to achieve its goal by requiring business to fully ascertain the risks posed by the use of chemicals. For certain dangerous substances this means that a company will need to define in detail exactly how to safely use a chemical.
REACH’s mechanisms is an authorisation process for substances identified as being of very high concern to human health or the environment. This will mean the hazardous chemical can only be used in ways that are authorised by a REACH central authority – the European Chemicals Agency.
But how will the agency know what chemicals require authorisation?
Much is known about certain substances but for many there are information shortfalls, which prevent a suitable risk assessment. That’s where the REACH registration process comes in-
For many firms REACH registration will be the most costly and time-consuming part of compliance. Generally, anyone that makes or imports a chemical into the EU above one tonne per year will need to register it with the Agency.
Registration involves producing a dossier of information in collaboration with other manufacturers or importers. The obligations for manufacturers and importers of a substance are essentially the same.
Source: REACH compliance
Additional information can be found on the following Web sites:
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
- European Chemical Agency REACH
- European Chemical Agency FAQs on REACH
- European Chemical Agency FAQs on REACH Registration and Pre-Registration
- List of REACH Service Providers (provided by U.S. Department of Commerce)
- U.S. Commerce Department FAQs on REACH