REACH- Legal and Practical Aspects

REACH- Legal and Practical Aspects

"Chemistry" Vol. 81
Tzvi Levinson, Christina Hadjidemetriou and Gil Dror - Advocates October 2006

The proposal for a Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (hereinafter REACH), was initially released by the Commission in 2003. Once it enters into force, probably in 2007, REACH will have drastic repercussions on the EU chemicals policy, with a wide ranging impact not only on the chemical industry but also on any industrial sector where chemicals are used, from car manufacturing and electronics to textiles, plastics, etc.  

Due to the importance of the chemical sector in the EU economy it is expected that this new system will gradually impact the global standards in chemicals production and trade. 

The overall aim of the new EU chemicals policy is to assess the risks and ensure the safe use of chemicals in the supply chain while at the same time maintain the competitiveness of the European chemical industry and induce innovation by encouraging the substitution of hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives. 

This article purports firstly, to introduce the reader to the main features of the REACH, secondly, to explain its scope of applicability and thirdly, to draw the attention of non EU manufacturers to practical ways to start preparing.