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REACH, the acronym for Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals, is currently changing the way in which chemicals used in products are approved for use within the EU.
Chemical substances need to be registered and evaluated for risks to health and then subsequently will be either approved or restricted for use. On June 1, 2007, REACH came into force in all EU countries. It must be completely implemented by 2018. Both old and new chemicals are registered with the new chemicals agency in Helsinki (ECHA).
REACH aims to enhance the protection of human safety and environmental impact from chemicals and also to reduce the usage risks of chemicals in all steps along the supply chain. All chemical substances produced, supplied or imported into the EU, in volumes of 1 ton or more per year have to be processed under REACH.
The exchange of information up and down the supply chain is very important. The intended usage of chemical substances must be included into the “upstream” (to manufacturer of chemical substances) and “downstream” (to customer and user of chemical substances) information. A new European Chemical Agency in Helsinki administers the registration and notification requirement of chemical substances within the scope of REACH.