The last REACH registration deadline, 31st May 2018, will mark a new era regarding the amount of information available on chemicals placed on the EU market.

This landmark date comes more than a decade after the introduction of this ground-breaking EU legislation which requires the chemical industry to examine and document the health and environmental impacts of the chemicals they manufacture or import, in order to continue their business.

Companies now have to prove that their chemicals can be used safely by documenting their properties, uses and the conditions for safe use in a registration dossier to be submitted to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

So far, companies across Europe have submitted information on almost 17,000 of the most hazardous and commonly used chemicals, for the REACH registration deadlines of 2010 and 2013. The last deadline in 2018 poses a particular challenge as it concerns chemicals manufactured or imported in low volumes.

Companies that manufacture or import these chemicals are typically small and medium-sized enterprises that may have little experience of regulatory issues at EU level.

These companies should now be gathering information on roughly 25,000 chemicals in total. This deadline will have an impact on Irish companies, either directly, if they do not register their chemicals required to be registered by the deadline, or indirectly, if their supplier does not register, thus impacting their supply chain. If a chemical that requires registration is not registered, then it cannot be manufactured or imported into the EU after 1 June 2018.

ECHA has introduced a new interactive infographic on the registration statistics which provides information on the progress made to date on registrations, including data on the chemicals already registered and where they come from. It is possible to search for chemicals according to their properties e.g.  carcinogenic substances, in addition to chemicals used in a certain sector of industry.

If you have any questions or concerns about the last REACH registration deadline, then please email the Health and Safety Authority’s chemicals helpdesk at chemicals@hsa.ie.

SOURCEHSA Newsletter

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