REACH is the EU regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It requires manufacturers and importers of chemicals to register each substance they make or place on the market in quantities exceeding one tonne in a central database managed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA)
Aim of REACH
The aim of REACH is to ensure the protection of human health and environment, maintain the competitiveness of the European chemical industry and prevent the fragmentation of the internal market. This regulation is applicable in the same way across the 28 Member States of the European Union.
The EU legislators finalised the process of creating this new chemicals policy for Europe in December 2006, thus marking a historic milestone. REACH officially entered into force on 1 June 2007. The chemicals manufactured or imported in high volumes more than 1 000 ton per year were to be registered by 2010, those in the middle volumes (100 to 1 000 ton per year) by 2013 and the small-volume chemicals (1 to 100 ton per year) by 31 May 2018. Europe has now created the largest chemical database in the world with 21 551 chemicals registered including petrochemical products.
Thoroughly committed to safer products and processes, the European chemical industry (represented by Cefic) and the European petrochemistry industry sector (represented by Petrochemicals Europe) want to make REACH work. Cefic and Petrochemicals Europe are playing an active role in helping companies to comply with the regulation.
REACH encourages manufacturers and importers of substances to collaborate to share hazard data and expertise about substances. This is even an obligation for data related to animal testing. The European Chemicals Agency will manage one registration dossier per substance. The creation of voluntary consortia is facilitating the exchange of information on hazards, handling and use of substances and allow substantial savings of testing and registration costs.
Before the implementation of REACH several substances of which 32 petrochemicals put on four European priority lists in the frame of the Council Regulation (EEC) 793/93 on Existing Substances, had to undergo an in-depth risk assessment. A risk assessment is the evaluation of the risk posed by the chemical to man covering workers, consumers and man exposed via the environment and to the environment (covering the terrestrial, aquatic and atmospheric eco-systems and accumulation through the food chain).
The role of Petrochemicals Europe
Petrochemicals Europe and its sector groups are assisting the petrochemical industry and downstream users with respect to the implementation and compliance with the REACH legislative framework.
Petrochemicals Europe and its sector groups played a major role in facilitating the formation of consortia with an interest with the substances under the umbrella of Petrochemicals Europe and appropriate registration dossiers have been submitted in November 2010. Please visit the respective Product pages to check the status of the REACH implementation.
- REACH-IT ECHA
On-line platform for submitting data and dossiers (pre-registration, registration, C&L, notification, etc.) on chemicals. It also allows the Agency and Member States authorities to review the dossiers. The Agency will also use REACH-IT to make non-confidential information on chemicals accessible to public on its website.
- IUCLID5 (International Uniform Chemical Information Database)
IUCLID5 is an essential system for industry to store and maintain data about chemical substances and it is the tool to submit data to the Agency. The Commission has released the IUCLID5 software, and its use should be included in the REACH implementation plan. IUCLID5 plays a central role in the IT environments of all organisations that have to cope with data submission requirements of REACH and other programmes (OECD HPV, EU Biocides and others).
This set of frequently asked questions has been prepared by the national REACH helpdesks (in the EEA), representatives of the European Commission and ECHA. They are one of the results of the cooperation of the national helpdesks in the context of cooperation of the national helpdesks in the context of Help Net.
CHEmical Safety Assessment and Reporting tool. Chesar is an application developed by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) to help companies carry out their chemical safety assessments (CSAs) and prepare their chemical safety reports (CSRs) and exposure scenarios (ES) for communication in the supply chain.
- Guidance documents aim at facilitating the implementation of REACH and CLP by describing good practice on how to fulfil the obligations. They are developed with the participation of many stakeholders: industry, Member States and NGOs.
- Cefic guidance documents and tools supporting companies in the implementation of REACH as well as to enhance harmonisation of procedures