REACH Regulation & Compliance
Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is a European Union Regulation that keeps a check on production and usage of chemical substances while addressing their potential impact on human health and environment. REACH came into force in June 2007 with implementation that spans in multiple phases over next decade. REACH would allow countries to closely monitor toxic substances and their impact on human health and environment which several years ago could not be effectively measured and monitored.
REACH Compliance for US Companies
Many of US manufacturing, retail, consumer goods and other product based companies will be impacted by this new REACH regulation. If you ship any raw material, product or chemical to Europe then you will have to register the substances that have chemical ingredients and also notify the concentrations of substances that are identified as “Substances of Very High Concern”.
One of the first steps a US company should undertake is to classify the goods that will be exported to the European union as articles or preparations. Articles are goods for which main properties and physical attributes are driven by shape and design rather than its chemical composition. On the other hand Preparation is a product that is prepared by mixing two or more chemical substances. You have to register all chemical substances in a preparation. For articles, you have to identify the ingredients that would have impact on human health or environment.
Registration, Evaluation and Notification for REACH Compliance
Now that you have identified all the chemical substances in your articles and preparations, you need to identify all the substances that you will have to register under REACH compliance directives. If the substances you export to a specific customer in European country exceeds 1 ton per year then your entity importing this substance will have to register it regardless of whether hazardous or not. Each of these registered substances will need to be tracked for their concentration to ensure that the allowed threshold is not exceeded. Ensure that the substances that are registered are not in the exception list that includes all substances that need not be tracked. One thing to remember here is that you do not track the volume of products and materials but you track the volume of individual substance within product that is REACH registered. You report the aggregate volume of a substance in all articles and preparations that you import into EU for a specific entity or business.
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