REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals) – a 10,000 foot summary

The European Union’s REACH legislation entered into force on 1st June 2007 to streamline and improve the former legislative framework for chemicals in the European Union (EU). REACH regulates substances (chemicals) including substances in preparations (mixtures) and substances in products (articles).
If you belong to a supply chain producing/using chemicals and exporting to Europe, you are affected by REACH. Manufacturers of electronic articles including printed circuit boards, components, and assemblies all will use regulated substances and preparations and will also have to comply with articles regulations.  Suppliers to these industries will need to comply with substance, preparation, and article regulations.
The main aspects of REACH include:

  • Registration of all substances ≥1 tonne/yr
  • Evaluation of some substances based on toxicity, downstream uses, and exposure
  • EU Authorization will be required for the each specific downstream use of substances of very high concern (SVHCs)
  • EU Agency (ECHA) to efficiently manage system

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