Importing some goods to the EU member countries is subject to some special restrictions. One of them is the REACH regulation that is the subject of the following article. In this text we are going to inform our readers about the legal regulations connected with importing chemical products to the European Union.
What is the REACH regulation?
It is another European Union regulation connected with products safety level. It is to guarantee that chemical products and products which may include or discharge chemical substances are safe. REACH is an abbreviation that stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restrictions of Chemicals. The REACH norm was entered into force on 1 June 2007. There are over 30000 substances specified in the regulation which are necessary to be reported if the producer sells goods that include them.
What products are subject to the REACH regulation?
This regulation concerns almost all chemical substances. However, some substances are exempt. These are crop protection chemicals, biocides, medicinal chemistry products, cosmetics, food additives, as well as animal food additives. The substances that naturally occur in the environment are also exempt from the REACH standard, however they must be safe and can’t be modified. In addition, it has to be remembered that some products may include chemical substances, what makes the producers perform the REACH rules. We recommend to pay attention to the REACH regulation while importing:
- rubber products, e.g. tyres,
- products that contain metals, e.g. cables, wires, pipes,
- PVC products, e.g. PVC tiles,
- plastic products, e.g. plastic food containers,
- textile products, e.g. fabrics,
- neoprene products, e.g. neoprene trousers,
- products containing colourful dyes, e.g. jackets,
- leather products, e.g. leather belts,
- various glues,
- cartridge ink.
In what countries is the REACH regulation effective?
The REACH norm is effective in all European Union member countries, as well as in Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein.
Who must perform the REACH regulation?
The REACH standard must be performed by:
- companies that produce chemical substances,
- companies that import chemical substances from countries outside the European Union,
- producers of goods that may discharge chemical substances,
- importers of goods that may discharge chemical substances.
The REACH rule concerns all above groups of entrepreneurs if they import or produce substances and goods that are subject to this regulation in quantities of one tonne or more per year.
How to prepare the importing process to fulfil the REACH regulation?
In order to prepare the importing process to fulfil the REACH norms, it is basically needed to:
- Compile a detailed list of substances that the company imports. If the imported products may contain or discharge chemical substances, the list of all such substances that may be found in the product is needed.
- Compare the list of the substances that may be found in the product with the list included in the REACH standards. If there are some substances that appear on both lists – check if the supplier fulfils the REACH rules.
The REACH regulation is one of the most difficult regulations to implement while importing products to Europe. If we deal with other similar regulations, e.g. the CE marking, it is clearly defined what products should have such a certification, but if it comes to the REACH norm, importers must check if the imported product discharge chemical substances on their own. It is a difficult task, because the European Union wants importers to know about many legal issues, as well as many chemical substances. While preparing reports for our clients, we pay special attention to product certificates. We enlist all certificates that the supplier has and explain the role of every certificate. This helps to avoid troubles.