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The main objective of the European REACH (Registration Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) regulation, which came into force on June 1, 2007, is to improve knowledge of the many chemical substances in circulation.
Of the 100,000 chemical substances listed (EINECS inventory), only about 2,700 (ELINCS inventory) have been notified and tested for toxicity and eco-toxicity.
The REACH regulation is based on 3 main phases:
Concerns the Manufacture, the Importation in EU, more than 1t/year of substances as such or contained in preparations or articles (releasing agents). It will run from 2008 to 2018. It should concern nearly 30 000 substances which will be the subject of detailed technical study files;
- The Evaluation
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) will select at least 5% of these registration dossiers received in each tonnage band in order to check their conformity;
The principle is as follows: “A substance is prohibited unless its use is authorized”. The aim is to control the risks inherent to substances of very high concern in order to eventually substitute these substances when economically and technically possible.
The substances that are candidates for authorization are on a list, which is empty to date, and can be found in Annex XIV of the regulation. However, a first list, called “candidate list”, containing 15 chemical substances, was published on October 9, 2008; it will be incremented over time.
The phase of pre-registration of substances, which began on June 1, 2008, will end on December 1. This stage, which is free of charge, allows to benefit from the transitional regime for the registration (which is then spread over 3.5611 years depending on the tonnage and the hazardousness of the substances). This phase is not to be taken lightly since it allows companies, in the absence of immediate registration, to continue their activities without interruption after this deadline.
There are only a few days left to complete this formality.
ATTENTION: Obligations for Article Suppliers
If a substance of the “candidate list” for authorization is present in an article at a concentration higher than 0.1% by mass, the supplier of the article must provide the recipient, or the consumer who requests it, with information to allow the safe use of the article and which includes at least the name of the substance. (art. 33 – review of composition).
This obligation took effect last October, when the “candidate list” was published.
For more information:
- BERPC website (Bureau of Risk Assessment of Chemicals and Chemical Agents): www.berpc.fr/reach-info
- ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) website: //echa.europa.eu/home_en.asp
- Website of Atout Reach (UIC organization dedicated to the advice and support of companies concerned by REACH): www.atoutreach.fr
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