Manufacturers that make chemicals in the European Union member states or import them in from outside the zone have until December 1 to register with the EU’s legislative REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals).
Manufacturers that make chemicals in the European Union member states or import them in from outside the zone have until December 1 to pre-register with the EU’s legislative REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals).
The decree has been in force since June 2007 and applies to any firm making or importing over a tonne per year of an individual chemical. Any company using such a quantity of a chemical on its own or as part of a product will have to have it registered with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) after a phased implementation over the next decade.
The REACH initiative replaces around 40 separate legislations that previously governed the use of chemicals in the EU. Its four objectives, according to the ECHA, are to ‘improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals’; ‘Enhance the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry, a key sector for the economy of the EU’; ‘Promote alternative methods for the assessment of hazards of substances’; and ‘Ensure the free circulation of substances on the internal market of the European Union’.
Also, at the end of last month the ECHA release its ‘Candidate List’ of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) for authorisation. These chemicals are rated as highly carcigonenic, mutagenic, toxic to reproduction or a combination there of. Use of them carries immediate obligations such as the presentation to customers of their presence, the dangers attached and safety advice on request.
The candidate list is made up of:
• Triethyl arsenate;
• 4,4′- Diaminodiphenylmethane (MDA);
• Dibutyl phthalate (DBP);
• Cobalt dichloride;
• Diarsenic pentaoxide;
• Diarsenic trioxide;
• Sodium dichromate;
• 5-tert-butyl-2,4,6-trinitro-m-xylene (musk xylene);
• Bis (2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP);
• Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) and all major diastereoisomers identified:
• Alkanes, C10-13, chloro (Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins);
• Bis(tributyltin)oxide (TBTO);
• Lead hydrogen arsenate; and
• Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP).
The ECHA will continually add to the list as it sees fit.
Intertek is FTSE 250 consultancy firm that is offering firms advice on their REACH obligations and how to fulfil them. Dr Ruud Overbeek is its head of Health and Environmental Services. He said: “The impact of REACH on any product imported into or manufactured in the European Union should not be underestimated. Any company with products reaching the EU should urgently move to understand their REACH obligations to ensure business continuity. Intertek is working with a huge range of companies right now to help them understand and comply with their REACH responsibilities so that they see no disruption to European sales.”
Around 350,000 pre-registrations had been clocked by September, according to the ECHA. This is almost double the organisation had estimated.
For more information on the REACH regulations visit the European Chemicals Agency website at echa.europa.eu.
To find out how Intertek can support companies in fulfilling their REACH obligations visit intertek.com.