The regulation places obligations on companies manufacturing or importing substances into the EEA to collect and assess information on their properties and hazards to identify and manage associated risks. Companies must demonstrate that chemicals can be used safely and communicate risk management measures to users. The regulations ensures several mechanisms to support managing the chemicals. The core pillars for its implementation include
- Registration: companies manufacturing or importing substances into the EEA in quantities over 1 tonne per year must register their substances under REACH with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). The registration process requires companies to collect and report information about the properties and hazards of the substance in a registration dossier for ECHA. The accompanying information depends on the annual manufactured or imported quantities. The regulation operates on a one-substance, one-registration principle, meaning companies manufacturing or importing the same substance must submit a joint registration.
- Evaluation: a registered substance may later be chosen for evaluation by ECHA or a Member State’s competent authority. The evaluation process can involve checking a registration dossier contains the information legally required by the regulation and reviewing the substance that poses concerns about specific hazards and risks. An evaluation’s outcome may include no further action or may necessitate additional substance data or the substance being proposed for inclusion on the candidate list as a substance of very high concern (SVHC).
- Authorisation: an SVHC on the candidate list may be placed on the REACH authorisation list, with an accompanying sunset date. After this sunset date, it will become illegal to use or sell it in the EEA unless an authorisation has been applied for and granted for specific uses of the substance.
- Restriction of chemicals: restricting the use of certain chemicals that may pose a risk to human health or the environment can fall under REACH. Where a restriction is enforced, all supply chain actors (e.g., manufacturers, importers, downstream users, distributors and retailers) must comply with the conditions.