REACH is a new European Regulation that went into effect on June 1, 2007. REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemical Substances. Although this is a European regulation, it affects any business that does business in Europe or wants to in the future. The main goal of REACH is to identify and classify all chemical substances and materials that come into any EU nation in order to protect the health of EU residents and their environment better. But what does it mean to a small American business like ours?
Since we have no European subsidiary or division of our business, we are required to appoint an Only Representative within the EU that can pre-register and register on our behalf any chemicals, chemical mixtures, or substances that we sell into the EU in a quantity greater than one ton. Of course, the pre-registration and registration has a cost associated with it. Pre-registration consists of identifying the chemicals and substances we sell into the EU and in what quantity. The deadline for pre-registration is November 30, 2008. Registration deadlines range from 2010 to 2018 depending on the volume and hazard level of the substance. Our Only Representative will be responsible for reporting any chemicals or substances that we export to the EU in quantities greater than one ton in exchange for a yearly fee.
Amspec found and hired an Only Representative and we have filed the necessary paperwork to pre-register the products that we currently sell into the EU. For now, that is all that we need to do. We will keep you posted as the registration process progresses and let you know any major hurdles we encounter. Good luck with your REACH experience and please let us know anything interesting you come up against or if you have any tips to share.