EU REACH Legislation Approaches Deadline for Registration
Businesses worldwide have only 12 days to pre-register chemical substances used in products in the EU - and new duties for chemicals of concern just added
Businesses in the consumer goods, electronics, electrical, medical and chemical product industries have only 12 days left to register for REACH1, one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching pieces of environmental legislation of the European Union
The EU requires that, under REACH, all chemical substances that are manufactured in or imported into the EU in amounts of over 1 tonne per year to be registered with the EU Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The new laws, which started to take effect in June this year affect all manufacturers, importers, distributors or users of chemical substances or products in the EU, across industries as wide as electrical and electronics, aerospace and automotive, life science and medical, building products, retail products, chemicals, textiles, and toys.
Dr Ruud Overbeek, head of Intertek's Health and Environmental Services said, "The impact of REACH on any product imported into or manufactured in the European Union should not be underestimated. Any company with products reaching the EU should urgently move to understand their REACH obligations to ensure business continuity. Intertek is working with a huge range of companies right now to help them understand and comply with their REACH responsibilities so that they see no disruption to European sales."
Intertek is offering strategic, legal and scientific consultancy and training on REACH to companies, and an accelerated REACH Pre-registration service for manufacturers located in- and outside the European Union to get in line with current REACH first pre-registration obligations and deadline of December 1, 2008.
In addition, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) recently published the list of 15 Substances of Very High Concern on 28. October, generating immediate new needs for companies to review their supply chains and understand their duties regarding SVHCs. SVHCs are substances with properties known to be hazardous to human health and the environment, such as substances that cause cancer or genetic mutation or that are toxic to animals and plants. Companies must disclose the presence of any of these substances in their product to customers. Later, SVHCs may only be used in certain applications or products, under authorization by EU Authorities.
"We are very busy with REACH right now" Overbeek added. "Companies want to have their submissions ready for the first deadline, but many have completed this already - so we are working at addressing the next stages with them. Many companies also simply want advice, training and support to understand the regime and how it affects their business".
The pre-registration of chemicals began in June 2008. The subsequent registration will be carried out over the course of 11 years in three stages, and ultimately unregistered substances will no longer be able to be produced or imported into the EU.
Help is at hand
Intertek, the leading global provider of quality and safety solutions, offers a range of solutions to help companies comply with health and environmental laws and protocols. Intertek's REACH process is tailored to the needs of companies and begins with defining responsibilities within an organisation's operation for REACH on a company-wide level, and, for each substance under the scope. As the next step, Intertek will align the compliance solutions for the REACH responsibilities with the customers' strategic and commercial interests. Intertek then helps companies to collect and organize all of the required data, create the necessary pre-registration information packages for substances, and is able to submit the pre-registration packages to the ECHA on behalf of the company.
Intertek has extensive laboratory capacity providing comprehensive testing services for REACH and Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC). Companies need access to testing services to determine their level of exposure and compliance position.
Due to the nature of global supply chains and manufacturing, when a new product quality, environmental or safety law is passed compliance obligations are often passed down the supply chain to their component or product suppliers. Companies and third-parties across the supply chain become involved in meeting the new regime and compliance demands along with the companies selling or introducing the products in country, such as retailers and distributors. Intertek provide the compliance support along the supply chain when and where it is needed.
1 'REACH' stands for the EU's Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals regulation.
Annex 1: The Candidate List, Substances of Very High Concern
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