REACH (EC 1907/2006) 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, authorization and restriction of chemicals. REACH also aims to enhance innovation and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry.
“No data no market”: the REACH Regulation 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 in a central database in the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki. The Agency 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.
The Regulation also calls for the progressive substitution of the most dangerous chemicals (referred to as “substances of very high concern”) when suitable alternatives have been identified.
REACH May 31st 2018 deadline, all substances manufactured or imported into the EU in more than 1T/a, but not subject to the 2010 or 2013 registration deadline, should be registered by this day. This means that workload will increase extensively for all stakeholders, especially for SME’s (Small & Medium size Enterprises).