What is REACH?
European Union Regulation 2006/1907, Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals is more commonly known as REACH. This regulation took the better part of a decade to develop and was adopted by the European Parliament in December 2006. The basic aim of the regulation is to consolidate over 40 other separate member state regulations governing the use of chemicals and improve the protection of human health and the environment overall. REACH also affects how safety information regarding substances is communicated throughout the supply chain.
When will REACH affect the European Market?
REACH officially came into force in June 2007. Concurrent with this period was the creation of the Helsinki-based European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which is responsible for managing the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction processes for chemical substances used throughout Europe. REACH establishes a volume-based phase-in period during which all aspects of the law will be fully realized; according to the current timetable, it will take 11 years to fully implement. The timing of events is based primarily on tonnage bands of chemicals entering the EU market as depicted below, with the highest volume chemicals generally being acted upon first.
What is IRMCO’s position regarding REACH?
IRMCO intends to fulfill its REACH obligations, including pre-registering those products which are introduced into the European Market. Like most manufacturers, IRMCO is currently preparing data to submit on applicable products once the 6 month pre-registration period begins later this year (June 1 – December 1, 2008). As required by the regulation, all pre-registration documentation will be prepared and submitted electronically to ECHA via the internet (REACH-IT/IUCLID5 database).