Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)

REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It entered into force on 1 June 2007.

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. REACH also aims to enhance innovation and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry. The regulation covers consumer products imported to or manufactured in the European market.

REACH requirements regulate the use of chemical “substances of very high concern”,commonly abbreviated as SVHCs. Substances typically classified as a REACH SVHC.

Noticed that substances listed in Annex XVII are banned or limited. Further, additional testing for Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) is also necessary.

How does REACH work?

REACH establishes procedures for collecting and assessing information on the properties and hazards of substances.

Companies need to register their substances and to do this they need to work together with other companies who are registering the same substance.

ECHA receives and evaluates individual registrations for their compliance, and the EU Member States evaluate selected substances to clarify initial concerns for human health or for the environment. Authorities and ECHA's scientific committees assess whether the risks of substances can be managed.

Authorities can ban hazardous substances if their risks are unmanageable. They can also decide to restrict a use or make it subject to a prior authorisation.

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Q & A:

  • What products/ Materials need to have REACH testing?

    As REACH is applicable to all consumer products sold in the European Union, essentially all products and materials can be subject to REACH lab testing.

    It is applicable to the following products: textiles, plastic products, jewelry and accessories, watches, furniture, etc. And REACH lab testing can be applied to essentially all materials, such as plastics, stainless steel, metal alloys, glassware, coatings and paints, leather, textiles, ceramics.

  • What are the potential consequences of noncompliance?

    The company that imports products into the EU is responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance with REACH requirements.

    For one, the policy of “no data no market” places the burden of gathering information and assessing risk of the substances in their products on the manufacturer and the importer. Noncompliant products cannot be distributed in the EU market.

    Each EU member state has its own enforcement penalties. But certain federal-level offenses can lead to eight years in prison and a fine of 55,000,000 EUR.

  • Do we need SVHC testing?

    Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) are chemicals or other substances that are not necessarily banned. However, importers and manufacturers in the EU are still required to keep track of SVHCs – for the following two reasons:

    a. Consumers have the right to request information about SVHC content above 0.1% by weight in a product

    b. Companies must submit a notification to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) if a product contains any SVHC above 0.1% by weight