REACH - obligations for EU enterprises
REACH is an EU regulation, which lays down obligations for EU enterprises which manufacture, import, distribute or use chemical substances or mixtures.
REACH is an acronym for Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals. REACH is an EU regulation, which lays down obligations for EU enterprises which manufacture, import, distribute or use chemical substances or mixtures.
Registration: Enterprises that import or manufacture chemical substances in the EU must register these substances with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
Evaluation: The registered data is used to assess the extent to which the substances are hazardous. This assessment can lead to the substances being included on the REACH Candidate List and, possibly, at a later stage, included on the REACH Authorisation List:
- The Candidate List: If a substance is assessed to be of very high concern, e.g. carcinogenic, it may be included on the Candidate List in REACH.
- Authorisation List: If a substance is of very high concern to the environment and health, it may, at a later stage, be included on the Authorisation List in REACH.
Authorisation: Enterprises which need to use a substance from the Authorisation List in their production must obtain authorisation from the European Chemicals Agency. Enterprises must adhere to the deadlines for applications for authorisation; otherwise use of the substance will be prohibited.
The REACH Regulation also requires suppliers of hazardous substances and mixtures to prepare and provide safety data sheets. For certain substances, there is moreover a requirement that the supplier enclose an exposure scenario.
The role of the Danish Working Environment Authority
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has overall responsibility for supervision of REACH compliance in Denmark and the EPA is the competent authority for REACH in Denmark.
The Danish Working Environment Authority supervises compliance with parts of the REACH Regulation, for example Titles IV and V:
- That enterprises comply with the requirements for preparation and provision of safety data sheets and exposure scenarios.
- That enterprises pass on information to downstream users in the supply chain for substances that do not require safety data sheets when e.g. assigning a registration number to the substance. Enterprises are also obligated to pass on information e.g. about new hazardous properties to suppliers upstream in the supply chain.