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On November 2005 REACH Regulation was adopted in the European Parliament's first reading, and on 13 December member States reached political agreement on whole REACH proposal. On 13 December 2006 REACH regulation was adopted in the second reading in the European Parliament and finally adopted in the Environment Council on 18 December. REACH Regulation will enter into the force on 1 June 2007.

The aim of new Regulation is to improve the protection of human health and the environment, whilst ensuring free movement of chemicals in the internal market, and at the same time, enable innovations and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry. Furthermore, The Regulation gives greater responsibility to industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances. In the Regulation provisions are set for communication of information on safe use up and down in the whole supply chain.

In the framework of new system, manufacturers or importers who manufacturing or importing a chemical substance in quantities over 1 tone will have to register this substance in the new established Agency.

The Regulation also calls for the progressive substitution of the most dangerous chemicals when suitable alternatives have been identified.

The first REACH obligation, pre-registration, will take place from 1 June 2008 to 30 November 2008. It will be followed by registration in three and half, six or eleven years, depending on the volume band or level of concern of the substance. This information and evidence demonstrating the safe use of the substance need to be submitted in a registration dossier to the new Agency.

Companies and authorities should now intensify their preparatory activities so that they will be ready to fulfill their duties in time. Detailed guidance documents and specific IT-tools are currently being developed to make the transition to the new system as easy as possible. Users of chemicals are advised to communicate proactively with their suppliers to ensure that their uses are covered by the registration dossiers of manufacturers and importers.

More information about REACH can be found under:

More information and a complete set of links can be found in Memo/06/488

A short explanation of REACH is available on:

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