What is the REACH Registration Process?

REACH requires the registration of chemical substances manufactured or imported into the EU in quantities exceeding one metric ton per year

What is the REACH Registration Process?

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals) is an EU regulation that restricts chemicals or “substances of very high concern” (SVHCs) that may be present in everyday life, such as cleaning products and paint.  

The substances restricted under REACH have been deemed dangerous and harmful to people and the environment. The Regulation also calls for the substitution of the most hazardous SVHCs if suitable alternatives if one has been identified.

One of the main reasons the EU adopted the REACH Regulation is that many toxic substances have been present in European products for years, and there has been insufficient information on their hazards.  

The EU saw a need to fill this information gap and ensure that the industry can assess the hazards and risks of the substances in their products and identify and implement risk management measures to protect humans and the environment.

As a result, REACH requires the registration of chemical substances manufactured or imported into the EU in quantities exceeding one metric ton per year. Companies that sell, manufacture, or import products containing these substances must assess the hazards and potential risks presented by the substance, collect information on their properties and submit that information through a registration dossier to ECHA.  

Registration applies to substances on their own, substances in mixtures, and in some instances, substances in articles. Chemical substances that are already regulated by other legislations, such as medicines or radioactive substances, are wholly or partially exempted from REACH requirements.

Companies are required to register substances either alone or, in some cases, with other companies who would like to register the same substance. REACH classifies three entities that have to comply with their regulations: manufacturers, importers, downstream users, and companies established outside the EU.  

Registration is based on the "one substance, one registration" principle. This means manufacturers and importers of the same substance must submit their registration jointly.  

Companies that fail to comply with REACH could face severe consequences, including steep fines and product recalls. A product recall can affect several suppliers, distributors, and brands.  

ECHA and the Member States evaluate the to-be-registered substances based on the submitted dossier and clarify whether a substance could be of risk to human health and the environment.

Registrations are submitted in IUCLID format through a tool called REACH-IT to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) through their website. In most cases, you need to pay a registration fee.  

Learn how to prepare the dossiers for registration.

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