PRACTICAL SHEET. Manufacturers, importers, distributors, users, everyone is concerned by the risk related to chemical products. In less than a year, certain substances will be prohibited from placing on the market within the european space. The ministry of the ecological Transition is the point.
What is REACH ?
It is a european regulation concerning the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemical substances, in order to better protect human health and the environment. Entry into force progressively from 1 June 2007, it includes different stages of application. In 2013, for example, the registration requirement covers all substances manufactured or imported in Europe in quantities greater than 100 tonnes/year. As of may 31, 2018, this requirement will be extended to all substances manufactured or imported at more than 1 t/year, which will increase the number of products concerned.
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Who are the professionals impacted ?
Almost all the world, since it is estimated that 1.7 million French companies are concerned. Craftsmen and companies that purchase chemicals for example, as paints, solvents or cleaning products. Or the industrial mix in their processes (such as varnish). The mechanical workshops are also affected since they use anti-corrosion treatment for the manufacture and maintenance of metal parts. Even the importers of finished products can be, as articles of clothing or furniture may contain chemicals, whether they are natural or organic.
What should they do ?
It is essential that users and distributors, make contact, now, with their suppliers in order to avoid the risk of a supply disruption in mid-2018. For their part, the manufacturers, importers and formulators of chemical substances must register those that are produced at over one tonne per year with the european chemicals Agency. Otherwise, after may 31 of the next year, it will be possible to market in the european economic Area. These manufacturers are also encouraged to warn their customers of their decision to register – or not – the substances that they use, so that they can anticipate a possible change of process.
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What is the record ?
This is toprepare a folder containing information on the properties physical-chemical properties of the substance, but also on its toxicology and its impact on the environment. An assessment of the risks to health and to the ecosystem will also be required on the whole life cycle (from production to its degradation). Appropriate management measures will be proposed.
Who to turn to for help ?
The department of ecological Transition and solidarity announced that it had put in place several different resources, including a national service assistance free of charge, led by Ineris (www.reach-info.ineris.fr). There is also a Web page dedicated on the website of the ministry itself (www.ecologie-solidaire.gouv.fr/reglementation-reach) as well as a support service that has been put in place to respond to issues not under the jurisdiction of the information desk.