The main aims for a new chemical strategy are to improve the protection and awareness of the risks of chemicals to human health and the environment whilst enhancing the development of the EU chemicals industry.
The new chemical strategy involves the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals – the REACH system.
The current European Legislations for chemical substances incorporates many different Directives and Regulations and includes different rules for 'existing' and 'new' chemicals. It has been decided that this system does not provide enough information about the effects of the majority of chemicals on human health and the environment. Overall, the identification and assessment of risks have proved to be slow, hindering research and development in the EU chemicals industry.
REACH has been designed around the idea that industry itself has a certain level of knowledge of the chemicals and substances used and, in turn, manages potential risks of them and associated products. Authorities will ensure that industry is meeting the requirements of REACH, especially concentrating on those substances of very high concern. REACH also creates a single system whereby both 'new' and 'existing' chemicals are controlled under the legislation.
REACH is a comprehensive regulation that encompasses manufacturers, importers and downstream users. Data sharing will be required to reduce testing on vertebrae animals and a classification and labelling inventory of dangerous substances will be introduced.
The pre-registration stage began on 1st June 2008 and registration deadlines for chemicals are varied depending on quantity. The identification of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) is currently underway; it is an ongoing process with an updated 'candidates list' being produced as required. Implementation of REACH will span over approximately 11 years.
Electrolube is fully aware of the requirements of REACH and the dates by which various parts must be implemented. A team leader and task force have been set up and we are working with both our raw material suppliers and customers to ensure full compliance with REACH at every stage.
For more information please contact REACH@hkw.co.uk