Don’t Let REACH Become a Stretch

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Courtesy of Bergeson & Campbell, P.C.

CHEMICAL REGULATION IN THE EUROPEAN Union (EU) will change radically when the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH) Program is implemented. The program will mandate registration of chemicals that are manufactured or imported into the EU in quantities exceeding 1 metric ton, and will require further evaluation of those that surpass 100 metric tons. Certain “high concern” chemicals will require specific authorization.

Last October, the European Commission (EC) issued an extensive proposal to implement REACH. It would, once enacted, replace about 40 directives and regulations currently in force and would establish a new agency — the European Chemicals Agency (ECA) — to manage the REACH system. Much remains to be clarified, but the proposal lays out in considerable detail a program that would have global reach. Although the initial implementation target of early 2006 may slip, it is certain that some form of the program will become law.

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