Brussels – June, 2017
Article Manufacturers and Importers are advised to use the new 109-page guidance document to verify that they comply with all their obligations under the European Chemicals Regulation REACH.
Main driving force for the new version of the REACH guidance document
In September 2015, the European Court of Justice issued a ruling which states:
- Article 7(2) of the REACH Regulation must be interpreted as meaning that, for the purposes of application of that provision, it is for the producer to determine whether a Candidate List substance of very high concern, is present in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight of any article it produces and, for the importer of a product made up of more than one article, to determine for each article whether such a substance is present in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight of that article.
- Article 33 of the REACH Regulation must be interpreted as meaning that, for the purposes of application of that provision, it is for the supplier of a product one or more constituent articles of which contain(s) a Candidate List substance of very high concern in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight of that article, to inform the recipient and, on request, the consumer, of the presence of that substance by providing them, as a minimum, with the name of the substance in question.
Following the judgement, a fast-track update procedure was initiated and ECHA (European Chemical Agency) published an updated Version 3.0 of this guidance document in December 2015, correcting the key parts of the guidance that were no longer consistent with the conclusions of the court’s judgement, and in particular removing examples.
The present Version 4.0 is a more comprehensive update of the guidance, which aims primarily at aligning further the text of the guidance and introducing new examples that are consistent with the conclusions of the Court judgement.
In Appendix 6 illustrative examples have been described explaining the requirements under Articles 7 and 33: bicycles have been added as one of the examples of a complex object that is produced by combining a number of articles (or simpler complex objects) mechanically assembled and/or joined together by using substance(s)/mixture(s): from page 101 to 108
The successful implementation of REACH relies to a substantial degree on the effective enforcement of that Regulation. Whereas the European Member States are responsible for setting up and maintaining their national systems for enforcement, the Forum for the Exchange of Information on Enforcement of the ECHA plays an important role in harmonising the approaches for enforcement taken in different countries. The European enforcement forum has already announced in its work program 2014-2018 that several activities have already taken place to improve the enforcement, for instance regarding the Training of REACH inspectors.