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Created by the European Union, REACH is the Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It entered into force on 1st June 2007 to streamline and improve the former legislative framework on chemicals of EU. The aim of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment through the better and earlier identification of the intrinsic properties of chemical substances.

REACH places greater responsibility on industry to manage the risks that chemicals may pose to the health and the environment. Manufacturers and importers will be required to identify and manage risks linked to the substances they manufacture and market. For substances produced or imported in quantities of 1 ton or more per year per natural or legal person, manufacturers and importers, respectively, need to demonstrate that they have appropriately done so by means of a registration dossier, which shall be submitted to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki.

The Regulation also calls for the progressive substitution of the most dangerous chemicals when suitable alternatives have been identified.

Under REACH, three phase-in periods have been introduced for the implementation of the registration requirement. Depending on substance volumes and hazardous properties of the substance, different registration deadlines apply:
1 December 2010 for high volume (>1000 t/a) chemicals and certain chemicals in lesser volumes depending on their hazards to human health and the environment
1 June 2013 and 1 June 2018 for smaller volume chemicals (1000 to 100 t/a and 100 to 1 t/a respectively)
Manufacturers, Importers, Downstream users and Distributors of chemicals within the European Union and the European Economic Area will have to comply with REACH in order to continue to operate and place chemical products on the European Union and the European Economic Area markets.

Further background information on the REACH Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006:

Some consortia links:

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