A further regulatory development is the introduction of chemical registration regulations in several countries. The aim of these regulations is to make sure that information on the hazards of chemical substances is available and communicated to the people in the supply chain who need it. A key example of a registration law is the REACH regulation.
What is REACH?
The REACH regulation has been identified as the single most important change for chemicals legislation in the EU in over two decades. It repeals more than 20 existing pieces of EU legislation and alters the way in which Europe does business with the wider world. In this respect, the REACH regulation will affect everyone in the chemical supply chain from initial manufacture to end users.
The objective of the REACH regulation in its most simple form is to standardise the way that chemical hazard and safety information is collected, presented and stored. The regulation requires the development of dossiers on chemical substances (not products) that are then submitted to the ECHA. In Europe, this obligation falls on the manufacturer of chemicals or, where goods are brought in from outside the EU, the importer of those goods. However, to help maintain a commercial ‘level playing field’, it is possible for non-EU companies to appoint an 'Only Representative' who is based in the EU and takes on the obligations of the importer, essentially converting them to a downstream user.
The REACH regulation works in combination with the CLP Regulation to ensure that the information on a SDS is compliant and communicated to the whole supply chain in the most effective way. One of the key aspects of the REACH regulation is to promote communication in the supply chain to improve the understanding of chemical risk.
The REACH regulation also addresses what is known as 'Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC)'. The intention is that the sale and use of these substances in the EU are strictly managed and, where necessary, will be phased out. This is intended to proactively manage such substances and protect people and the environment from the inherent risk that SVHCs present.
For further information about the REACH regulation, please visit the ECHA website.