Complying with the REACH Regulation: What Manufacturers Need to Know

Companies that produce, use, or import chemicals or chemical products into the European Union (EU) must comply with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation. To avoid getting into trouble with the law, you should educate yourself about the implications of this legislation. Also, you must plan ahead to protect the individuals in your company. REACH establishes procedures to collect and access data on chemical hazards and properties. Companies should check out the REACH SVHC List to know the substances they should not use. 

What Companies Should Do to Comply with REACH

Companies must register all of the substances they use. When the registration has been assessed by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA), the EU member states will evaluate the substances to determine human health and environmental concerns. Should they discover risks, the scientific committee of ECHA will assess whether these risks are manageable or not. The agency may ban the substances, restrict usage, or subject them to a prior authorisation if the risk cannot be managed. 

How REACH Affects Companies

REACH has implications for organisations that sell or import chemicals into the European market and their suppliers. Companies must know the REACH-regulated substances their products contain and should get this information from their suppliers. After they get this information, they should complete the documentation to comply with the disclosure requirements of the regulation. 

Because the REACH list changes periodically, organisations must monitor their compliance requirements. Any addition, the list can pose risks to a company’s existing product line.  Thus, company owners must establish a system to monitor all the changes in the REACH list and audit their supply chain for the possible presence of SVHCs. Also, companies must review their disclosure and authorisation obligations whenever they change product formulations or launch new products.

Applying for REACH Authorisation

Companies required to apply for authorisation from ECHA must ensure that their declaration includes a chemical safety report, a plan that details the company’s substance replacement proposal, and an alternative substance evaluation.

A lot of manufacturers confirm their compliance with REACH by giving a full material disclosure of their products. Every manufacturer can decide how they will communicate such information because there is no uniform declaration standard set by REACH. No matter the standard a company chooses, it should show that it has mitigated the hazards related to the SVHC and can phase it out for a less harmful substance.