Will REACH still be there after 2018?


Cefic European Chemical Industry Council, Avenue E. Van Nieuwenhuyse 4, B-1160 Brussels, Belgium


REACH is clearly more than the registration of substances. The interaction with evaluation and authorisation and restriction is becoming more and more clear. The communication on these via the ECHA website is improving constantly and new developments are reported. This will clearly not stop in 2018. REACH will play an important role in the discussion on implementing the action plan for the circular economy, as well as in the discussions on the non-toxic environment. On global level, REACH will contribute in achieving the sustainable development goals. The author shares his personal view how this legislation is much more holistic than many understood end 2006. Without this holistic concept companies are losing track what is happening with their dossiers.

If you had asked in Davos whether they knew REACH, the majority might have answered yes - of course, it is an English verb. Only those closer to the chemical industry may know that this is a piece of European legislation on chemicals requiring companies to register substances, falling under the scope of registration, in 2010, 2013 and 2018, and for all new substances entering the European market. And those who could tell you more could be counted on the fingers of one hand.
Currently many companies are preparing the 2018 deadline registrations, and many downstream users are interested in finding out whether the substances they are using will be registered and whether their use will be covered by the registrant. ECHA, together with national helpdesks and stakeholders, is actively raising awareness of this last registration phase. ECHA has created a dedicated section of their website related to the 2018 registration deadline (1).

People working daily with REACH know, however, that REACH will be far from over after the third registration deadline in 2018. REACH can be seen as an iceberg, and the registration part is what you see above the w ...