The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals.
REACH is regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006 for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. The regulation, which came into force on 01 June, 2007, was enacted in order to streamline and improve the legal framework that previously applied to chemical substances in the European Union (EU). REACH imposes a greater responsibility on industry to control the potential risks posed by chemicals to health and the environment. As an EU regulation, REACH has simultaneous and equal validity in all member states.
As a general rule, REACH applies to all chemical substances i.e. not just industrial chemicals, but also to everyday substances such as those used in electrical equipment.
The REACH system is based on the principle of self-responsibility of the industry. In accordance with the 'no data, no market' principle, only chemical substances that have previously been registered can be placed on the market within the jurisdiction. Every manufacturer or importer that wishes to place its substances falling under the jurisdiction of REACH onto the market must submit a separate registration number for these substances. The ECHA (European Chemicals Agency for chemical substances) is primarily responsible for organisation and oversight in the REACH process.
New since 2010
On two occasions during the past few months, the European Chemicals Agency has added several substances to the candidate list (Substances of Very High Concern; SVHC, Annex XIV). This list currently includes a total of 38 SVHC substances. This imposes a greater burden on companies as regards the procurement and disclosure of information in order to meet their obligations in conjunction with SVHC substances.
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