The EU REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) entered into force on 1 June 2007, and amalgamated a large number of European Directives and Regulations into a single system.

REACH was adopted to enhance the competitiveness of the chemical industry in the EU while improving the protection of human health and the environment from risks associated with chemicals. REACH also focuses on reducing unnecessary animal testing by promoting alternative methods for determining substance hazards.

REACH applies to many chemical substances used in our day-to-day lives and in industrial processes. Companies must identify and manage the risks associated with the substances that they manufacture and market in the EU; illustrating to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) how the substance can be used safely. The risk management measures required for safe use must be communicated to the users. Authorities can restrict the use of substances if risks cannot be managed.

REACH impacts a range of sectors. In general, companies fall into either manufacturer, importer or downstream user, all having different levels of responsibilities under REACH.

All companies manufacturing or placing a substance on the market in the EU in quantities greater than 1 tonne per year are required to register that substance with the ECHA. A pre-registration system was implemented to allow for staggered registration deadlines. Registration has been phased since 2010, with the final deadline of 31st May 2018 for all substances between 1 and 100 tonnes.

If you require assistance with your REACH obligations, please send an email to or contact the team on +353 1 849 5284.

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