The EU Regulation on Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) came into force in 2007 to ensure the protection human health and the environment as well as promoting the use of alternative methods for assessment of hazards of substances.
We have launched this week a new REACH service for manufacturers. This service includes information for manufacturers on their obligations under REACH, the most up to date information on substances registered under REACH as part of a free e-alert scheme and consultancy advice for those who are looking for more tailored advice.
There are two guidance documents published today; Guidance for Manufacturers and Obligations for Downstream Users. The guidance for manufacturers is intended to provide members with a straightforward and practical understanding of the requirements under REACH. Although one might think REACH is just for the chemical industry, manufacturing uses many of these chemicals and are increasingly coming under pressure to find less hazardous substitutes for commonly used chemicals; REACH is expected to affect around 30,000 substances on the EU market.
REACH will not only affect manufacturers who directly use chemicals in production, it will also affect manufacturers that assemble imported components into products that are eventually placed on the European market. The second guidance document published this week is dedicated to providing these ‘downstream users’ with information about their obligations, namely in ensuring that your uses are registered and you following the Safety Data Sheets.
It is important to understand what risks you might be exposed to through REACH, even if you are not directly obligated. As a ‘downstream user’ of chemicals registered under REACH, you will face some specific legal obligations and importantly, some business continuity risks.
A substance that is present in one of your products may be restricted under REACH, and could even risk being withdrawn from the market; this will disrupt your supply. There may be reputational damage with your customers by failing to comply with the REACH disclosure requirements, if you are not fully aware of the chemicals present in your products, you cannot make them aware of them. This could lead to loss of business and a threat of fines and prosecution if you do not fully comply with the legal requirements of REACH.
In a nutshell, you need to make sure that you are fully aware of the chemicals present in the products you produce and sell and ensure that your customers are also aware of these by communicating this information to them.
As part of this launch, we are also offering members the opportunity to sign up to e-alerts that will keep you informed with the most up to date REACH information, such as latest changes or additions to Candidate Lists of Intended Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs), which can affect your business continuity. You will have the most up to date information about which chemicals are under consideration, restricted, banned or authorised under REACH; ensuring you can reduce this business risk.
Please visit www.eef.org.uk/reach to download the guidance document, sign up to the e-alert system or seek consultancy advice.