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Impact of REACH on the Detergents industry


NVZ, The Netherlands


On the 31st of May 2018 the last registration deadline of the European REACH Regulation passed – one of the most complex and strict laws regulating chemical substances. A regulation with the primary aim to ‘ensure a high level of protection of human health and the environment as well as the free movement of substances, on their own, in preparations and in articles, while enhancing competitiveness and innovation’(1). Lofty, worthy goals. But are these goals reached? More than 10 years after going into force, what can we conclude regarding the effects of this Regulation?
An opinion from the perspective of a national trade association for the detergents industry.


Registrations: No data, no market

In essence, the core method by which REACH aims to realise its goals is to make manufacturers and importers of chemical substances in the European Union responsible for the data required for the safe use of the substance. This is the so-called ‘no data, no market’ principle – without enough data on the hazardous properties of a substance, a manufacturer or importer may not bring the substance on the European market. To ensure this, substance manufacturers or importers are required to register their substances with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The imported or manufactured amount of a substance per year determines the amount and type of hazard data to be collected. This data must be supplied in the form of a registration dossier to ECHA, who has the responsibility to evaluate such dossiers. But hazard data is not the only information to be found in a registration dossier – manufacturers and importers (or ‘registrants’) are also required (2) to do a chemical safety assessment (CSA) for all identified uses of the substance throughout ...

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