Helsinki – A 10-year registration period for existing chemicals in the EU is now complete as the last REACH registration deadline ended on 31 May.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) said in a 1 June report that 13,620 European companies have submitted information to ECHA in nearly 90,000 registrations, for roughly 22,000 substances.
The registered chemicals are either manufactured in or imported to the EU and EEA at above one tonne a year.
“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,” said the ECHA release.
Companies, it added, need to follow new developments closely and “keep the information on their chemicals up to date.”
According to ECHA, the data will be used to protect 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,” the agency added.
REACH was adopted in 2007, whereby EU member states asked the chemicals industry to describe the impact on human health and the environment of the chemicals they make and manage the risks.
The chemicals manufactured or imported in high volumes (more than 1,000 tonnes per year) were to be registered by 2010, while mid-level volumes (100-1,000 tonnes per year) were registered by 2013. The final round covered small-volume chemicals (1-100 tonnes per year) and ended 31 May.