REACHREACH stands for Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals legislation and has entered into force as a European Regulation on 1 June 2007. The European legislator aims to protect the environment and consumer safety by laying a larger responsibility on the producers of chemical substances. REACH however does not only affect producers of chemicals, but also distributors, importers, buyers and for example companies which product a variety of products for the production of which they use chemicals.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) was established in Helsinki to watch over the implementation of this legislation. In implementing REACH, this agency is expected to register over 30,000 chemical substances during the next 11 years. Legal proceedings will also take place in front of the ECHA over registrations.
1 June 2007, REACH enters into force
1 June 2008, pre-registration starts for phase-in and non phase-in substances
30 November 2008, pre-registration for phase-in substances ends
1 December 2008, registration for existing, non-registered substances starts
1 January 2009, list of pre-registered substances is published
1 December 2010, PHASE 1, substances of which more than 1.000 ton per year is produced and certain others must have been registered
1 June 2013 PHASE 2, substances of which more than 100 ton per year is produced must have been registered
1 June 2018 PHASE 3, substances of which more than 1 ton per year is produced must have been registered.