REACh is a European Community Regulation on chemicals and their safe use. The abbreviation stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. The legal basis - the so-called REACh regulation - is considered to be one of the strictest chemical laws in the world.
The aim of REACh is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances. At the same time, innovative capability and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry should be enhanced. The benefits of the REACh system will come gradually, as more and more substances are phased into REACh.
The objectives of the authorization of chemicals according to the REACh regulation are adequate control of the risks emanating from substances of very high concern (SVHC) and a gradual replacement of these substances with suitable alternative substances, provided these are economically and technically viable. Authorization is a three-stage process with the following steps: creation of a candidate list, inclusion in Annex XIV of the regulation (the substances subject to authorization are listed here) and finally application for authorization.
The application for approval is submitted to the European Chemicals Agency ECHA. Manufacturers, importers or downstream users may submit an application. Among other things, it contains an examination of the possible alternative substances, taking into account their risks and the technical and economic feasibility of the substitution, including information on the relevant research and development activities of the applicant, if necessary.
The European Commission or ECHA grants or denies approval. Authorization is granted when the risk to health and the environment is adequately controlled. This is the case if it can be demonstrated that the exposure remains below certain threshold values (e.g. DNEL value, PNEC value).
Another important aspect of the REACh regulation is the provision of information and the transfer of information on substances and mixtures using safety data sheets. The obligation to provide information always applies if a product contains a substance from the REACh candidate list with a weight percentage of 0.1% or more.
Consumers have the right to be informed about the SVHCs in products upon request. The company has 45 days to respond to a request from those affected. The answer must contain at least the information about the name of the substance, it can be supplemented with information about the safe handling of the product.
A core element of the REACH regulation is the provision of an online freely accessible database which - in application of the principle "no data, no market" - the data transmitted to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in the registration process is available to the public (see below: Information on chemicals).
Below is a list of sources for detailed information on REACh and the REACh regulation. See also: companies in the field of REACh consulting.
Information site of the European Commission - [e]
ECHA official website - [e]
Data and Databases
Information on Chemicals
European Chemical Substances Information System - [e]
European Chemicals Agency
The Agency, located in Helsinki, Finland will manage the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction processes for chemical substances to ensure consistency across the European Union. These REACH processes are designed to provide additional information on chemicals, to ensure their safe use, and to ensure competitiveness of the European industry.. ECHA, EU - [e, d, f, es, it, ...]
Law, Acts, Regulations
REACh - text
Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC - [e]
Last update: 02.11.2022
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