20-Jun-2013

REACH – preparing for the next step

Abstract

New REACH legislation has just come into force. Challenges ahead for manufacturing companies include requirements for the shipping of chemicals, in particular the requirements for documentation in the supply chain

New REACH legislation has just come into force (31 May 2013). Malcolm Carroll, Director of REACH Delivery, looks at its impact and the challenges ahead for manufacturing companies

A recent European Commission report highlighted how much safer the use of chemicals in Europe has become since REACH regulations came into force five years ago. The uses and properties of 7,884 chemical substances manufactured or available on the market are now registered with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) – meaning that the risks from these substances have been greatly reduced.

However, with the next REACH landmark implemented on 31 May 2013, there are many companies that are not aware of how new EU laws governing hazardous chemicals will affect them. The new regulations state that companies that manufacture or import phase-in substances (ie those already pre-registered) in quantities above 100 tonnes/year will need to register their chemicals and be fully compliant.

Research from the UK manufacturers’ organisation EEF revealed in January that 20% of companies think REACH is not applicable to them and a further 30% say it is not important to their business. This is worrying because the new legislation brings even tighter European controls on the manufacture, movement and use of dangerous or hazardous chemical products.

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