REACH Regulations are an EU initiative regarding the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals. REACH’s aim is to better protect the health of humans, as well as care more for the environment, through better identification of the properties of chemicals.
Pressure is placed on the manufacturers and importers of chemicals and REACH places the emphasis on “no data, no market”. Put simply, it’s up to manufacturers, importers and sellers within the EU to gather information on the properties of the chemicals to ensure they are handled safely, as well as registering the data in a central place within the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
REACH Regulations are extremely important as, for some time, a large number of substances have been imported into the UK without any in-depth knowledge as to the hazard they pose to both the environment and human health. REACH Regulations work to fill the gaps in the industry knowledge surrounding hazards and risks of substances whilst working to protect all involved.
REACH actually came into effect on 1st June 2007 but was always planned to be a phased, 11-year provision to allow EU businesses to accommodate these changes and make the necessary improvements.
Any company, regardless of their size, can be affected by REACH so it’s important that everyone understands what their role is and what their duties are when it comes to complying with the new rules.
REACH applies to any business importing chemicals or prepared substances into the EU at a volume of 1 tonne or greater, you are compelled to submit a dossier of the substance’s properties and any other relevant information regarding its risks and how to manage them to the ECHA.
REACH Regulations have very specific deadlines, some of which have already passed, and are broken down based on the volume of chemicals imported.
The next, and final, key deadline is 31st May 2018, from this date onwards it’s necessary for all manufacturers, importers and sellers to register substances supplied at ≥100 tonnes per annum. This is basically every significant manufacturer, importer and seller.
|30 Nov 2010
|Registration of: substances supplied at ≥1000 tonnes per annum; substances classified under CHIP1 as Very Toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment (R50/53) at ≥ 100 tonnes per annum; substances classified under CHIP as Category 1 or 2 CMR2 at ≥1 tonnes per annum.
|31 May 2013
Registration of substances supplied at ≥100 tonnes per annum.
|31 May 2018
Registration of substances supplied at ≥1 tonne per annum.
1. CHIP – Chemical (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations 2002
2. CMR – Substances that are, Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Toxic to Reproduction
What Are The Penalties For Non-Compliance With REACH Regulations?
Firstly, it’s a criminal offence for non-compliance with the REACH Regulations. It’s also an offence to cause or permit others to contravene a listed REACH provision. There are also other offences linked with REACH such as failure to comply with enforcement notices, providing false or misleading information, or obstructing inspectors.
Non-conformance penalties vary depending on where the case is heard:
– In ‘lower’ courts, e.g. Magistrates Courts, you can be fined up to £5,000 and/or face up to 3 months in prison
– In ‘higher’ courts, e.g. Crown Courts there is an unlimited fine and/or up to 2 years imprisonment
It’s clear to see that REACH is not only serious about protecting health and the environment, enforcement is high on the agenda too. Remember that ignorance isn’t a defence, it’s important that you and your business know and understand the REACH Regulations, how they affect you, and how you can protect yourself from incurring serious penalties.
What is Stonegate’s role in REACH?
As a supplier of high-quality, specific chemicals for stone fabricating, Stonegate is a ‘Distributor’ under REACH Regulations. This means that although we do not manufacture the chemicals and substances ourselves, we have a duty to maintain a vital link in the communication chain between the manufacturer and official bodies.
It’s also our role to ensure we only supply chemicals that have been REACH registered as failure to do so will incur severe penalties.
Stonegate’s role within the REACH regulations is vital. It’s our duty to ensure that the products we supply are REACH registered and extensively tested (so their hazards are known) and that we pass health and safety information (including Safety Data Sheets) up and down and supply chain. Our role is also to ensure that our customers get the vital information that they need.
Some examples of how we can support you, our valued customers, with the new REACH Regulations are:
- If our suppliers provide information on the hazards or safe handling of a product, then we would provide this to all our customers.
- If our customers provide information about their uses of a particular product, then we will pass this on to our manufacturer.
- Customers may want to know that the substances they are using have been preregistered/registered under REACH for their own due diligence.
The most important thing to understand is that from May 2018 it will become illegal to import chemicals over 1 tonne that have not been registered with REACH and that we, as a legitimate and professional supplier, have complied with these rules.
How Does REACH Affect You…
As a vital customer of ours, it’s important for you to know that Stonegate is complying with rules and regulations as they come into force. We are passionate about the REACH Regulations as they fundamentally help to protect workers, and the environment, from harm.
We have taken the necessary steps to ensure that we comply with the REACH Regulations which means you get the continuity of supply of the very best products possible. One example is our Bondex Stone Adhesive; we undertook extensive work to ensure that this product complies with REACH whilst taking the opportunity to fundamentally improve it, making it even better for our customers.
It’s important to our customers that they don’t miss out on the supply of key chemicals and consumables because of the regulations coming into force. We can guarantee that our chemicals comply with REACH and there will be no disruption or issues sourcing your product.
Furthermore, under the new REACH Regulations, many of our customers are known as ‘Downstream Users’ and have their own responsibilities to comply with. Within the classification of ‘Downstream User’ is every business using chemicals they have a responsibility to use them in a safe way and according to the information and guidance provided in the risk management measures for that product.
Alongside this is the opportunity for you as our customers to provide information to us back up the chain as to how you’re using the chemical products; this information is vital when we develop new products and can be taken account of when assessing the risks of the chemical used to better protect both people and the environment.
However, if you would prefer to not tell us how you are using the chemicals we provide then you will need to supply your own risk assessments and risk management measures to the European Chemicals Agency.
If Stonegate Isn’t Your Chemicals Supplier, Here’s Some Key Questions To Ask…
- Do you know of the upcoming REACH Regulations?
- What are you doing to prepare for the new regulations in May?
- How will I get supply of my products if you can’t import or sell none compliant chemicals?
- Will I not be able to get the products I need?
- Do you know the implications for failing to comply with REACH?