THE OBJECTIVES OF REACH ARE CONSISTENT WITH OUR HEALTH, SAFETY AND ENVIRONMENT POLICY
REACH is a European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals. It came into force on 1st June 2007 and replaced a number of European Directives and Regulations with a single system. REACH has several aims:
- To improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that chemicals can pose
- To make the people who place chemicals on the market responsible for understanding and managing the risks associated with their use
- To enhance innovation and competitiveness of the European Union (EU) chemicals industry
- To promote alternative methods for assessing the hazards of substances
- To ensure the free circulation of substances on the internal market of the European Union
Who will be affected?
REACH affects everyone in the chemical supply chain, including manufacturers, importers, formulators and downstream users. The regulations state that EU manufacturers and importers of chemical substances, preparations or substances contained in articles intended for release have to register those substances if the volume placed on the market exceeds 1 tonne per year per legal entity. EU-based importers are fully liable for compliance with the REACH regulations, although any substance imported into the EU at volumes less than 1 tonne per year per legal entity does not have to be pre-registered or registered and is not covered by REACH.
The regulation replaced around 40 pieces of existing legislation and was designed not to overlap or conflict with other chemical legislation. Existing legislation regulating other types of chemicals (e.g. cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and biocides) or related legislation (e.g. on health and safety of workers handling chemicals, product safety and construction products) continues to stand.