The History, Goals and Implementation of REACH
REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) is a regulatory framework for chemicals resulting from EU chemical policy discussions spanning several years. The regulation came into force in June 2007.
The EU Commission’s goal is protecting people and the environment while enhancing the competitiveness and innovative strength of European industry. For producers, importers and users, this means that chemicals cannot be marketed without the corresponding data. As per the schedule of deadlines and the requirements (staggered by volume produced/imported), producers and importers must evaluate the risks associated with each substance, develop suitable measures for ensuring its safe use and inform their customers. Substances of very high concern undergo a rigorous authorization procedure. To date, approximately 6,600 different substances have been registered with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki, in a total of almost 33,000 dossiers. The agency makes comprehensive data about these substances and their potential risks available via the internet ( www.echa.europa.eu > Information on Chemicals > Registered Substances). Consumers additionally have the right to find out whether products contain substances of very high concern (SVHCs).