Chemicals Policy (REACH)
What is it?
Standing for ‘Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals’ (REACH), the REACH Regulation (1907/2006/EC) is the EU-wide harmonised tool for chemicals management, including their safe use. The REACH Regulation 1907/2006 entered into force on 1 June 2007, while its obligations were applicable at a later stage and became operative in a progressive manner. Now they are fully in place.
In contrast to the past, this integrated legislative framework allows the assessment of existing and new substances in a harmonised way at EU level. It also aims to improve flows of information in the supply chain to ensure that chemicals can be handled safely by users. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) located in Helsinki, runs a centralised information database on chemicals and administers the implementation of REACH requirements, including on authorisation and restriction procedures.
Why is it important?
Orgalime represents a major EU downstream user industry of chemical substances and preparations. Indeed, a broad variety of chemicals such as paints, (cooling) lubricants, oils, chemical cleaners, organic solvents and adhesives are used in our day-to-day manufacturing business.
Orgalime industries also represent major EU producers and importers of final articles including many of their components for both professional customers and private consumers. We are clients of the chemical industry and supplier of capital goods to all other industry sectors including the automotive, aerospace, chemical, food and textile industries, as well as the health and environment sectors.
With a view to facilitating the implementation of the REACH Regulation in our industries, we aim to ensure that:
- REACH is effectively applied as the EU wide framework and implemented in a harmonised way throughout the 27 EU member states and the EEA member states.
- An effective and timely flow of information through the supply chain delivers the suppliers intentions and the necessary safety information to users of chemicals.
- A manufacturing base for engineering companies in the EU is maintained, by safeguarding the availability of a broad portfolio of chemicals for innovation purposes and the competitiveness of European engineering industries.
- Fair competition exists between producers of articles operating within the EU and their competitors in non-EU countries where REACH does not apply.
How we’ve been engaged
Orgalime promoted the views of its industry during the legislative process on the REACH Regulation. Shortly after its adoption, Orgalime has published “A practical guide for downstream users, article producers and article importers to understanding Regulation N°1907/2006 on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH)” (last update: October 2009). It summarises the requirements of REACH of relevance to our industry and provides practical guidance to engineering companies as they prepare to implement the legislation. It offers guidance to producers and importers of articles and explains their obligations and timelines for action in brief and easy-to-understand terms. One of our first priorities is to secure continuous supply of chemicals used in our day-to-day business and we have also developed model letters (included in the guide) to help engineering companies to effectively communicate in the supply chain with suppliers, recipients and consumers.
The Orgalime REACH guide can be downloaded free of charge at http://publications.orgalime.org/.
In parallel, we actively follow the EU institutions’ and ECHA’s ongoing implementation activities, such as:
- Publication and review of ECHA Guidance Documents.
- Intentions for establishment of restriction and authorisation procedure, update of the REACH Candidate List review of REACH annexes and other outstanding comitology decisions.
- The 2012 Review of the REACH Regulation.
In cooperation with BusinessEurope, Orgalime occupies a permanent seat as industry observer in the Competent Authorities groups on the implementation of REACH (CARACAL). Orgalime represents complex articles manufacturers in the Directors Contact Group (DCG) and is included in the ECHA list of stakeholder organisations, which is a reference list for consultations. We also participate as an observer in the Forum for Exchange of Information on Enforcement.
- ECHA general website
- REACH legislation and implementing legislation
- ECHA publications (guidance documents, newsletter, FAQ)
- ECHA Helpdesk
- List of REACH national helpdesks
- ECHA “FAQ on REACH by industry” (June 2011)
- DG ENVI - REACH
- DG ENTR - REACH
- 2012 REACH Review and studies