Introduction to the REACH Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006: Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals.
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Introduction to the REACH Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006: Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals.

The REACH Regulation has the aim to inform on the European level about the dangers and risks of chemicals. Since June 2007, producers and importers must register all substances, mixtures and articles that are produced in Europe or imported into Europe in quantities of ≥ 1 ton per year according to the REACH regulation. This is done at the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

General introduction

An important element to better understand the context and focus of the REACH Regulation are the definitions listed in Chapter 2 Article 3 of the REACH Regulation. It is important to clearly distinguish these definitions. Some important terms that define the affiliation of products are listed below.

The term “substance” means a chemical element and its compounds in their natural form, a substance forms the basis of the following terms. The next distinction is made with a “mixture” – this means a mixture or solutions consisting of two or more substances. The third term defines an “article” – this is an object which forms an article by a certain shape, surface or design.

The above definitions already show that the scope of the REACH Regulation in this sense can affect any manufacturing industry equally. This includes the following areas: Chemicals, textiles, toys and household goods, to name but a few.
In addition, these definitions also apply to all actors of the REACH Regulation, for example the manufacturer, supplier of an article and/or producer.

Structure of the REACH Regulation

The structure of the REACH Regulation forms a complex system consisting of 15 sub-sectors and 17 additional annexes. In the following, the most important chapters on pollutant management are dealt with in detail. First of all, Annex XIV plays an important role here, where the substances subject to authorisation are listed. Substances of very high concern (SVHC) are first on the ECHA candidate list and after extensive testing and evaluation, substances on the candidate list can then be included in Annex XIV. In addition, there are substances which are restricted with individual limit values, these are all defined in Annex XVII of the REACH Regulation.

Obligations and challenges for the manufacturer and supplier

The obligations for manufacturers and suppliers result from the role assignment according to chapter 2, paragraph 3 of the REACH Regulation. Depending on the role and the associated articles, substances or mixtures, notification and information obligations are defined and consistently complied with. The REACH Regulation is constantly updated and therefore it is the duty of care of each actor to continuously monitor and implement the relevance and the associated measures.

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Marco Mauler
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