REACH is the Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. Regulation 1907/2006 came into force on 1st June 2007 to streamline and improve the former legislative framework on chemicals of the European Union (EU).
REACH places greater responsibility on industry to manage the risks that chemicals may pose to the health and the environment. This legislation impacts on all of the trade, both domestically and to those companies worldwide, supplying flavours and fragrances to the EU.
Introduction to REACH
REACH requires the registration of some 30,000 chemical substances in use today. This action is coordinated by the new European Chemicals Agency. REACH replaces about 40 pieces of legislation with a streamlined and improved regulation. The legislation requires EU manufacturers and importers to gather data on the properties of chemicals traded, thus removing this burden from the authorities and placing it with industry in order to improve safety. For example, essential oils used in cosmetics are included in the legislation, but not those used for food purposes.
Although essential oils are produced from natural plant material, they can fall within the scope of REACH and need to be registered. In all, around 1,500 substances produced or imported to the EU may become subject to authorisation, where it is the stated objective to ensure a progressive replacement of safer alternatives. Those substances covered by the regulation must be registered by 2018. Below is the time frame for implementation. [Click here for a pdf version]
The pre-registration stage took place from 1st June to 30th November 2008. The registration phase started on 1st December 2008. A review of the information requirements for substances manufactured or imported in quantities of 10 tonnes or more (Annex VIII to REACH Regulation) is currently being undertaken by the EU Commission.
REACH places greater responsibility on industry to manage the risks that chemicals may pose to the health and the environment. This legislation impacts on all of the trade, both domestically and to those companies worldwide supplying flavours and fragrances to the EU.
European Chemicals Agency
REACH also creates, with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), a central coordination and implementation role in the overall process. Click here for more information.
The new European Chemical Agency is based in Helsinki and manages the registration, evaluation and restriction processes for chemical substances to ensure consistency across the EU. The website also provides technical guidance documents on REACH processes and methods – see guidance for industry. Click here for more information.
The National REACH helpdesk is a service established in every member state providing advice to companies and other stakeholders on the obligations they may have under REACH. In most cases they are located in national Competent Authorities. Click here for the national lists of helpdesks.
IFEAT Budapest REACH presentations
This European Federation of Essential Oils (EFEO) publication gives information on the protocol for registering Natural Complex Substances in order to facilitate the smooth implementation of REACH.