With the introduction of this regulation, manufacturers, importers and downstream users now assume responsibility for the chemicals used. Under the previous legislation, this responsibility rested with the authorities that carried out the chemical safety tests.
Within the entire supply chain - i.e. from the manufacturer or importer through any processors or intermediaries to the seller - all information on the chemical substances must be passed on without gaps. This applies in particular to the information needed to ensure that each individual substance is used safely.
The REACH procedure
REACH will be implemented in three steps. First of all, the manufacturers or importers of the chemicals must evaluate and register the substances. The substances must be registered with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and registration is mandatory for the production or sale of chemicals in the EU. The rule here is: "No data - no market".
The registrations are then evaluated for their completeness by the authorities. In the case of five percent of substances, the documents are examined to check whether they meet all of the registration requirements. Finally, authorisation is given, possibly with restrictions. Substances of very high concern (SVHC) are included in the so-called candidate list. These substances will then be replaced by less hazardous chemicals over time.
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