Nearly 22,000 chemicals registered under REACH
The 10-year registration period for existing chemicals is now complete following the last REACH registration deadline on 31 May 2018. 13,620 European companies have submitted information to ECHA in nearly 90,000 registrations for chemicals manufactured in or imported to the EU and EEA at above one tonne a year.
Today we know more about the chemicals used in Europe than ever before. This knowledge, generated by industry, is stored and published by ECHA in the world’s largest public regulatory database on chemicals and forms the basis for protecting citizens and the environment from the risks posed by chemicals. ECHA, the EU Member States and the European Commission will use the increased knowledge to take action where necessary, for example, by restricting or authorising certain uses of chemicals.
Over the first 10 years of the REACH Regulation, the EU has established a fair and transparent internal market for chemicals with strict safety rules. This promotes innovation towards safer substances and strengthens EU competitiveness.
ECHA’s Executive Director Bjorn Hansen says: “European industry has assessed and managed the health and environmental risks of their chemicals and sent proof of that to ECHA. It was not always easy, but most of the companies managed to register on time, and can already see the benefits: they have a better understanding of the properties and uses of their chemicals, which directly improves safe use in the supply chain. I want to express my gratitude to all parties involved – industry, stakeholder organisations, Member States, the European Commission and ECHA’s staff. It is thanks to the cooperation of all actors that we’ve achieved this important milestone.”
It is not only Europe that benefits from the knowledge collected under REACH: the EU has become a global role model for chemicals safety. Legislators outside of Europe are inspired by REACH and benefit from the data that is publicly available.
While the 31 May 2018 deadline marks the end of the journey of closing the data gap for existing chemicals, registration is just the start. As always, science evolves, new chemicals are developed and products change. Companies need to follow these developments closely and keep the information on their chemicals up to date.