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Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals

REACH is the European Union’s (EU’s) comprehensive approach to regulation of chemicals used in industry and in consumer products. Entered into force in 2007, REACH is an acronym for Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals. It has several elements:

  • Registration: Businesses that place chemicals on the market in the EU are required to provide information on the health and environmental effects of these chemicals. The registration requirements have been phased in over time, with the final set of deadlines occurring in 2018. 
  • Evaluation: Member states (countries) within the EU review and evaluate the information provided by chemical manufacturers and importers and decide what regulations may be appropriate.
  • Authorization: Some chemicals are designated as subject to authorization. These chemicals cannot be placed on the market in the EU unless special authorization is received.
  • Restriction: Some chemicals are restricted under REACH.

REACH is implemented by the European Chemicals Agency (EChA), located in Helsinki, Finland.