Requirement to register chemical substances in products and articles
18 November 2016
Under the European REACH legislation applying to the entire European Union, manufacturers and importers of both individual chemical substances and compositions of such chemical substances are required to register the relevant chemical substances in some situations. Articles containing chemical substances are also to be registered. Registration is to be made with the European Chemicals Agency ("ECHA") and must be completed by 31 May 2018 at the latest.
The European REACH legislationThe requirement to register chemical substances under REACH may seem irrelevant.
However, it is important to be aware that the requirement includes both "pure" chemical substances and compositions of such substances and articles and products containing chemical substances.
The list of relevant articles and products is extensive as today chemical substances are included in more or less everything from tea lights and ball point pens to cleaning materials, fillers and furniture etc.
As a rule, the registration requirement becomes relevant if you are a manufacturer of the chemical substances and compositions, or if you are importing the relevant chemical substances and products from non-EU countries into the EU. The manufacture or import must exceed 1 ton annually.
Registration with the ECHA must be completed by 31 May 2018. As the registration process is slow, it is important to initiate the process as soon as possible in order for it to be completed before the expiry of the deadline
Failure to register i) chemical substances/compositions of such substances and ii) articles containing chemical substances under the REACH legislation will result in it no longer being legal to manufacture, import and market the relevant chemical substances/articles in the EU in the future.
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency ("DPA") has just initiated an information campaign about the registration requirement that can be used to determine whether a company is subject to the REACH legislation.
Read more about the DPA's campaign (in Danish) "Virksomheder skal registrere kemi i importvarer nu"
Important considerations with respect to REACHCompanies should try to identify as soon as possible any activities/products that are subject to the REACH legislation, including the requirement to register certain chemical substances and products.
Actual legal obligations should then be identified, including whether the company is required to complete the registration procedure or if it is exempted.
If the company is subject to a registration requirement under REACH, a timetable and an action plan should be prepared, making it possible to complete such registration prior to 31 May 2018.