The European Commission's REACH Regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals came into force on 1 June 2007, replacing various EU directives and regulations and making the industry responsible for demonstrating the safety of its products.
The REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 published on 30/12/2006 thoroughly revises all of the European Union rules in force regarding the control of chemical substances for the protection of health and the environment and for the first time makes the industry responsible for demonstrating the safety of its products.
Suppliers and customers
One of the key aspects of the general framework governing the implementation of the REACH Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 concerns the exchange of information between manufacturers and importers and indeed the downstream users of the chemicals in question. One particularly important element of this exchange involves identifying the actual uses of the substances so that they can be assessed as part of the registration process and included on the “extended” safety data sheet (eSDS) in future. If a specific use for the substance is not specified in the dossier, it could lead to restrictions on its actual use. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has developed a series of codes (“REACH descriptors”) in order to classify the use of substances and facilitate the exchange of information on their conditions of use in the various industrial sectors. A list of these codes and other information regarding their usage is available on the ECHA website