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As the rules change or new procedures are developed, please note that these interpretation and/or guidance may not apply; you should always refer to the latest rules and guidance documents to determine what equipment authorization procedures should be followed. For the latest guidance on specific topics or you don't know where to start, please feel free to contact GTG experts.

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The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is a European Union regulation that came into effect on June 1st, 2007. It ensures the safety of human health and the environment by managing the risks associated with chemical substances. It also encourages companies to find safer alternatives to hazardous substances and promotes the development of sustainable chemistry. REACH also provides consumers with information on the chemicals used in products, enabling them to make informed decisions about the products they purchase.

Benefits of REACH

  • Protection of Human Health: REACH ensures that chemicals used in products and industries are thoroughly evaluated, minimizing the risks to human health. By promoting safer alternatives, it contributes to a healthier and safer society.
  • Environmental Preservation: REACH plays a vital role in protecting the environment by identifying and restricting hazardous substances. It encourages the use of sustainable alternatives, reducing pollution and minimizing the ecological footprint.

Transparency and information

REACH promotes transparency by providing accessible information about chemical substances. This empowers consumers to make informed choices and encourages industries to adopt responsible practices.

REACH registration

REACH requires all manufacturers and importers of chemical substances in the European Union to register their products. The registration process involves providing information on the chemical composition, properties, and potential hazards of the substance. This information is then stored in a central database accessible to the public, which enables companies to share information on the safe use of chemicals.

REACH evaluation

The evaluation process involves the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) reviewing the information provided during the registration process and evaluating the potential risks associated with the substance. ECHA then recommends appropriate measures to be taken to manage these risks. This process ensures that only safe chemicals are used in Europe, and that the potential risks to human health and the environment are minimized.

REACH authorisation

REACH also requires companies to obtain authorization before using substances that are considered hazardous or of high concern. This process ensures that only substances that are necessary and have adequate control measures in place are allowed to be used. This authorization process is in place to prevent the use of harmful substances and to encourage companies to find safer alternatives.

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REACH restriction

REACH also restricts the use of certain chemicals that are hazardous to human health and the environment. This restriction process involves identifying chemicals that pose a significant risk and prohibiting or limiting their use. This process ensures that harmful chemicals are not used in Europe and that the potential risks to human health and the environment are minimized.

REACH and Brexit

The United Kingdom (UK) left the European Union on January 31, 2020. However, during the transition period, which ended on December 31, 2020, REACH still applied to the UK. The UK has since implemented its own chemical regulation, known as the UK REACH, which closely mirrors the EU REACH.

How can GTG assist you with REACH regulation recognition?

Companies that deal with chemicals are required to comply with the REACH regulation. However, the process of complying with REACH can be daunting, especially for smaller companies. This is where GTG help in handy.

(1) Understanding REACH regulation

The first step to compliance is to understand what the REACH regulation entails. GTG can help you understand the regulation and its requirements.

(2) Compliance assessment

Once you understand the regulation, you need to assess your compliance. GTG can help you with this assessment by conducting a gap analysis.

(3) Pre-registration

The next step is to pre-register your substances. GTG can assist you in identifying the substances that need to be pre-registered and completing the pre-registration process.

(4) Registration

Once you have pre-registered your substances, you need to register them. GTG can help you with the registration process by preparing the necessary documents and submitting them on your behalf.

(5) Substance identification

One of the requirements of REACH is to identify the substances you use. GTG can help you with this by conducting a substance identification study.

(6) Chemical safety assessment

Another requirement of REACH is to conduct a chemical safety assessment. GTG can help you with this assessment by preparing the necessary documents and conducting the assessment on your behalf.

(7) Authorization

If your substances are deemed hazardous, you may need authorization to use them. GTG can help you with the authorization process by preparing the necessary documents and submitting them on your behalf.

(8) Restriction

REACH also has restrictions on the use of certain substances. GTG can help you understand these restrictions and ensure that you are not using any restricted substances.

(9) Communication

REACH also requires companies to communicate with their suppliers, customers, and authorities. GTG can help you with this communication by preparing the necessary documents and facilitating the communication process.

(10) Training

It is important to train your employees on the REACH regulation and its requirements. GTG can provide training to your employees to ensure that they understand the regulation and are compliant.

(11) Auditing

It is important to conduct regular audits to ensure compliance with the REACH regulation. GTG can conduct audits on your behalf and provide you with a report of the findings.

(12) Continuous compliance

Compliance with the REACH regulation is an ongoing process. GTG can help you ensure continuous compliance by providing ongoing support and assistance.

If you are a company that deals with chemicals, please feel free to contact GTG. With the help of GTG, compliance with the REACH regulation can be made easier.

Sources: Our guidance and/or articles are written in part based on publicly available information, and our own practical experience relating to product testing, compliance and certification. These are some of the primary sources we use:
  1. European Chemicals Agency. (2021). What is REACH?
  2. European Commission. (2020). The EU chemicals strategy for sustainability towards a toxic-free environment.
  3. Further reading: for more information on REACH and its impact, visit the European Chemicals Agency website at https://echa.europa.eu/ The website provides detailed information on the regulation, guidance on compliance, and access to the REACH database.
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