What is REACH?


REACH is a regulation of the European Union, adopted to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals while enhancing the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry.

REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals and requires all companies manufacturing or placing a substance (on their own, in mixtures or in articles) on the EU market in quantities greater than 1 t/year to register that substance with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

  • Registration: Substance assessment, preparation of a dossier and registration by industry
  • Evaluation: Evaluation of registration dossiers by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA); checking for quality and completeness
  • Authorisation: Authorisation of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) for certain uses by the ECHA
  • Restriction: Restriction of the manufacture, use or placing on the market of hazardous substances by the ECHA

For legal reasons, only companies with a legal entity in Europe are allowed to submit a registration under REACH; however, non-EU companies may submit REACH registration by appointing an Only Representative to register on their behalf, in which case their importers will be regarded as downstream users and do not need to do registrations.

REACH Regulation: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:02006R1907-20200428&qid=1593863162855&from=en

What Must be Registered?

Companies are affected by REACH if they manufacture or import a chemical substance in volumes ≥ 1 tonne per year.

  • Substances on their own (single substances and no mixtures)
  • Substances as components of mixtures
  • Substances in articles (if these are intended to be released under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use (e.g. scented candles, perfumed textiles).
  • Substances as a component of articles with properties of very high concern (SVHC) that are named on the Authorisation List (REACH Annex XIV) and contained in products at a concentration of ≥ 0.1 %.

Note: Under REACH, only chemical substances, NOT products/product names are registered.

Obligations under REACH

Obligations in the supply chain

RoleObligationsPotential obligations
Manufacturer and importer of substances, mixtures, articlesPre-registration
Sharing information with customers
Information archiving
Application for authorisation
Compliance with the restrictions
Notification of hazardous substances in the classification and labelling inventory
Chemical Safety Assessment
Importer of articlesNotification of the SVHC*
Sharing information about SVHC*
Compliance with the restrictions
Information archiving
Downstream usersCheck of eSDS
Implementing risk management measures
Information archiving
Feedback to supplier about the use
Preparation of the
SDS Sharing information with customers
TradersInformation archivingSharing information with customers (e.g. SDS)
Sharing information with suppliers (e.g. use, substance release)

Timeline & Transition Periods

June 1, 2007
REACH came into force

June 1, 2007
June 1, 2008
Registration of non phase-in substances (new chemicals) starts
Pre-registration of phase-in substances (existing substances already on the market) starts

June 1, 2008
November 30, 2008
Pre-registration for phase-in substances ends

November 30, 2008
December 1, 2008
Registration for existing substances (that have not been pre-registered) starts

December 1, 2008
January 1, 2009
ECHA publishes list of pre-registered substances
SIEFsare formed

January 1, 2009
December 1, 2010
Deadline for pre-registered phase-in substances registration when supplied at:
phase-in substances > 1000 tpa
R50/53 > 100 tpa
CMR Categories 1 and 2 > 1 tpa

December 1, 2010
June 1, 2013
Deadline for registration of phase-in substances > 100 tpa

June 1, 2013
June 1, 2018
Deadline for registration of phase-in substances > 1 tpa

June 1, 2018

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