What is REACH?

REACH is a new European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals. It came into force on 1st June 2007 and replaces a number of European Directives and Regulations with a single system.



REACH has several aims:

  • To provide a high level of protection of human health and the environment from the use of chemicals.
  • To make the people who place chemicals on the market (manufacturers and importers responsible for understanding and managing the risks associated with their use.)
  • To allow the free movement of substances on the EU market.
  • To enhance innovation in and the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry.
  • To promote the use of alternative methods for the assessment of the hazardous properties of substances e.g. quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) and read across.


What is CLP?

CLP is the European Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation that sets out a process by which chemical hazards must be communicated in a systematic and logical manner to those that need to be properly informed. In that sense CLP links to REACH in that REACH identifies risk and CLP communicates the hazard. More detailed information.


ORA Position

The ORA is supportive of both the REACH and CLP Regulations.

ORA notes that REACH does not apply to waste status materials. However, once a full recovery to an End of Waste position has occurred then the provisions of REACH are likely to apply.

This is a complex technical and legal area and it is not practicable here to specific case guidance.

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has produced outline guidance.


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