What is REACH?
REACH is a new European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals. It came into force on 1st June 2007 and replaces a number of European Directives and Regulations with a single system.

Aims of REACH
The main aims of REACH are to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals, the promotion of alternative test methods, the free circulation of substances on the internal market and enhancing competitiveness and innovation.REACH makes industry responsible for assessing and managing the risks posed by chemicals and providing appropriate safety information to their users. In parallel, the European Union can take additional measures on highly dangerous substances, where there is a need for complementing action at EU level.

No data, no market
A major part of REACH is the requirement for manufacturers or importers of substances to register them with a central European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). A registration package will be supported by a standard set of data on that substance. The amount of data required is proportionate to the amount of substance manufactured or supplied and the represented danger. If you do not register your substances, then the data on them will not be available and as a result, you will no longer be able to manufacture or supply them legally, i.e. no data, no market!

Scope and exemptions
REACH applies to substances manufactured or imported into the EU in quantities of 1 tonne per year or more. Generally, it applies to all individual chemical substances on their own, in preparations or in articles (if the substance is intended to be released during normal and reasonably foreseeable conditions of use from an article). Some substances are specifically excluded:


  • Radioactive substances
  • Substances under customs supervision
  • The transport of substances
  • Non-isolated intermediates
  • Waste
  • Some naturally occurring low-hazard substances Some substances, covered by more specific legislation, have tailored provisions, including:
  • Human and veterinary medicines
  • Food and foodstuff additives
  • Plant protection products and biocides Other substances have tailored provisions within the REACH legislation, as long they are used in specified conditions:
  • Isolated intermediates
  • Substances used for research and development

Subsidiary of