In 2007, the European Union adopted the Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation that regulates substances sold on the EU market. REACH is a very complex regulation that imposes obligations on all parts of the supply chain. According to the Directive, if a substance, preparation or article is not registered for a specific use that substance, preparation or article will not be allowed on the EU market.
REACH imposes additional requirements on manufacturers, importers and users of substances classified as substances of very high concern (SVHCs). These requirements include knowing whether a SVHC is present in your product above a certain threshold and if so notifying the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). ECHA will update the SVHC list every six months. The current list includes thirty eight substances and can be found by visiting echa.europa.eu/chem_data/authorisation_process/candidate_list_en.asp. From the SVHC list ECHA will identify substances for authorization under Annex XIV of the REACH Regulation. Manufacturers, importers, and users of substances identified in Annex XIV must apply for authorization of that substance for a specific use in order to continue to place that substance on the market. The REACH Committee in the EU is expected to finalize the first list of substances in Annex XIV by early 2011.
IPC REACH Guidebook
ECHA Releases Concise REACH Guidance (.pdf)
REACH: 10,000 Foot Summary
Results of IPC Survey on REACH Preparedness (.pdf) (July 2008)
ECHA’s REACH Website