Understanding REACH: A Guide to European Chemical Regulations

by Team MDS on Apr 09, 2024

Understanding REACH: A Guide to European Chemical Regulations

In today's world, chemicals are ubiquitous, present not only in industrial processes but also in everyday products like cleaning supplies, paints, and electronics. To regulate the safe use of these chemicals, the European Union introduced REACH, an acronym for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals. This regulation applies not only to substances and mixtures but also to articles, making it crucial for manufacturers and importers to grasp its implications.

What is REACH?

REACH is a regulatory framework that places responsibility on industries to manage the risks posed by chemicals to public health and the environment. It requires manufacturers and importers to register substances by providing data on their properties, conduct chemical safety assessments, and implement risk management measures. Additionally, downstream users must ensure that customers have the necessary safety information, and distributors must ensure that products comply with restrictions and safety requirements.

Compliance with REACH

Complying with REACH can be complex, requiring a deep understanding of its various provisions. SGS, a global leader in inspection, verification, testing, and certification services, offers a comprehensive suite of services to help businesses navigate the REACH framework. From initial registration to ongoing compliance support, SGS's experts provide guidance and assistance every step of the way.

Key Requirements of REACH

  • Substance Registration: Manufacturers and importers must register substances by providing data on their properties.
  • Chemical Safety Assessments: Companies must conduct assessments to ensure chemicals are used safely.
  • Risk Management Measures: Measures must be implemented to mitigate risks associated with chemical use.
  • Notification of Hazardous Substances: Manufacturers and importers must notify authorities about hazardous substances.
  • Communication Down the Supply Chain: Downstream users must ensure customers have necessary safety information.
  • Distributor Responsibilities: Distributors must ensure products comply with restrictions and safety requirements.

Adapting to Changing Regulations

REACH standards are subject to change, requiring manufacturers and importers to stay informed and comply with the latest requirements. SGS's global network of laboratories and specialists ensures businesses can adapt to these changes and maintain compliance with REACH legislation.


In conclusion, REACH is a crucial regulation that aims to protect public health and the environment by regulating the use of chemicals in Europe. With the help of SGS's comprehensive suite of services, businesses can navigate the complexities of REACH and ensure their products comply with the latest regulations, safeguarding both consumers and the environment.