REACH legislation doesn’t just affect member states of the EU. Any mechanical, electrical or component engineering company exporting into Europe needs to be aware of the REACH directive as it relates to their particular area of expertise. This is especially true of defence engineering, which is subject to a number of policies and exceptions. These were recently overhauled.
REACH, launched in 2007, is the acronym for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It is one of several European initiatives tackling environmental compliance, providing a system for the registration and regulation of chemical substances. The aim is to encourage the substitution of dangerous or environmentally harmful chemicals for less damaging ones.
Since the pre-registration period ended in 2008, production and importing of chemicals in the EU has been tightly regulated. By law, a full registration dossier stating the nature and intended use of each chemical must be submitted to the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) by the chemical producer or importer. In addition, newly registered chemicals must be tested by the manufacturer and the results given to the ECHA for approval.
REACH compliance applies to all areas of industry, including the defence sector. However Article 2, paragraph 3 allows certain substances to be exempt in the interests of defence. This can be a confusing area for many, especially companies outside the EU, but was clarified in March 2010 with the “Steering Board Decision on REACH – National Defence Exemptions”.
We at Enventure Technologies offer a number of environmental compliance solutions specific to the REACH directive.