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REACH stands for Responsible Care

Registration within defined deadlines

REACH stipulates that substances produced in the EU or imported into the EU in volumes of one or more metric ton per year must be registered. Substances already on the market are subject to transition deadlines. Producers and importers affected by this had to initially pre-register their substances by December 1, 2008. Actual substance registration must be completed in phases by 2018 within fixed periods.

Companies file information on substances in electronic form in the form of technical dossiers and chemical safety reports with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki. They submit the necessary data for evaluation and must be able to demonstrate that their products are safe to handle and do not compromise the health of processors, consumers or the environment. The relevant substance is given a registration number by ECHA to indicate that the submitted dossier has been accepted. ECHA decides whether additional information is required as part of a dossier evaluation.

Transparency and more safety at all levels

The aim of REACH is to assure the safe handling of substances for all applications. This requires an ongoing exchange of relevant information between all parties involved in the supply chain. The increased cooperation between manufacturers/importers, processors and users as a result of the improved exchange of information on substance applications, conditions of use and risk management measures on account of REACH means more transparency and thus greater safety throughout the product chain:

  • Manufacturers and importers assess the risks of all conceivable applications for their substances and describe how to use them safely with the help of exposure scenarios.
  • Dealers must pass on information so as not to break the information chain.
  • In this way, users receive more information on the safe handling of the relevant products for checking their own conditions of use

REACH is everyone’s concern

There are very few chemical substances that do not need to be registered. Polymers and some natural products, pharmaceutical, biocidal and crop protection active ingredients, which are already governed by relevant regulations, are exempt from registration.

Registration of polymers

Polymers are exempted from the obligation to register under REACH. Instead, the monomer units of the polymers have to be registered. This is the responsibility of the monomer manufacturer. If polymers are to be imported into the EU, the importer must register each monomer with a level of two percent weight on weight or more in the polymer if the total imported quantity of the monomer amounts to one metric ton per year or more.