REACH is a new law on the European Union’s books, put in place to better regulate human health and environmental risks posed by substances. This law also encourages alternatives to animal testing while increasing the competitiveness of Europe’s chemicals industry. REACH brought in into account on 1 June 2007.

In principle, REACH applies to all companies across the EU. The regulation not only keeps track of the substances that are traded in high volumes but also those that are used within day-to-day life. For example, in clothes, furniture and cleaning products – which is what most people noticed with this legislation when it was announced.

Impact on companies

For Importer-As a non-European/EEA entity, you may have some responsibilities when working with chemicals. If you have anything coming from outside the EU, it’s important to be aware that this could fall under the REACH regulation. This could mean either individual chemicals used to manufacture a product or chemical mixtures themselves, regarding the use of several in one blend for onward sale or when material is being sold in finished form – whether that be clothes, furniture or plastic goods for example.

For Manufacturer-If you will be producing chemicals – whether for yourself or to provide as a vendor – then s REACH compliance is almost necessary.

For Users- If you buy products from outside the EU/EEA, it is likely that you may be required to declare your purchase under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) law. REACH requires businesses in the European Union to register chemicals they use in their products in one central database. This could be individual chemicals, combinations of chemicals, or finished products themselves.


Registration applies to substances in their own right, substances in mixtures and certain cases of substances in articles. Only under certain circumstances are certain types of substances regulated by other legislations.

Registration is based on the “one substance, one registration” principle. This means that companies planning to market new substances would need to involve everyone involved in its development during the formulation stage of a product. For example, if a company is developing a new UV filter along with a chain of cosmetics manufacturers, both parties would be required to register their products under the same name with ECVAM in order for them to appear on the positive list.