EU Chemicals Regulation: a range of duties shared by manufacturers, importers and dealers
Deadline for registration is 31 May 2018
Most products contain some kind of chemicals. In plastics, leather goods, clothes or electrical equipment, they play a major role wherever they are found. Yet the types and quantities of the chemical substances are often not known along the entire value chain. This chain can be very complex, and communication gaps can also result from stakeholders acting to protect trade secrets. REACH, the EU Chemicals Regulation for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, aims to resolve these issues. In force since 2007, the regulation is designed to offer a higher level of protection for people and the environment while also fostering trade with chemicals within the EU Single Market, and promoting competition and innovation. With REACH, all companies are obliged to take responsibility for their chemicals.
All businesses are legally required to disclose certain items of information by 31 May 2018. “The key thing is to ensure transparency along the supply chain,” says Thomas Berbner, an industrial chemicals and product safety specialist who works at Dr. Knoell Consult. “The Regulation means that every member of the supply chain within Europe – whether manufacturer, importer or dealer – must keep records of certain substances in their products.” INTERSEROH Dienstleistungs GmbH has partnered with Dr. Knoell Consult since 2016 to offer a comprehensive REACH compliance service. Berbner: “We can provide comprehensive portfolio analysis and advice to anyone who is not sure of what REACH means for their products and product constituents. REACH means that we are for the first time documenting what happens with chemicals within Europe, from their manufacture to their disposal.”
Special attention is paid to “substances of very high concern”. This includes carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic substances, and those that accumulate in the body or do not degrade in the environment. By listing these substances, REACH aims to earmark them for further actions, such as restricting the use of dangerous chemicals or taking them off the market entirely, subjecting them to an approval procedure or – ideally – to find long-term substitutes. REACH also gives consumers the right to request information from dealers about the chemicals in products. Companies are liable for their products and have a duty to protect people and the environment.
- Company & industry
Interzero is one of the leading service providers in the field of closing product, material and logistics loops as well as innovation leader in plastics recycling with the largest sorting capacity in Europe. Under the guiding principle of “zero waste solutions”, the company supports over 50,000 customers throughout Europe on the responsible handling of recyclable materials, thus helping them to improve their own sustainability balance and conserve primary resources. With about 2,000 employees, the company achieves a turnover of over one billion euros (2021). According to Fraunhofer UMSICHT, Interzero’s recycling activities will save one million tonnes of greenhouse gases compared to primary production and more than 12.5 million tonnes of primary raw materials in 2021 alone. Further information can be found at www.interzero.com.
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