REACH and the Global Regulation of Chemicals

On 1 June 2008, the EU’s chemicals regulation, REACH, became operational. REACH affects all companies active in the EU market – whether incorporated inside or outside the EU – that are producers, users, or importers of chemicals or articles that include chemical substances (such as cars, consumer electronics and the like). REACH places the burden on companies to develop safety data and other information for new products to prove they can be used safely before they can be placed on the EU market and to develop similar data for products already on the market.

WilmerHale's REACH team has been involved with REACH from its earliest stages, representing European and non-European chemical federations in the elaboration of the legislation itself. We have appeared as experts on the WTO aspects of REACH at hearings organized by the European Parliament, and we have also spoken and published on the subject of REACH. As a result, we have an intimate understanding of many of the policy implications and rationales underlying the provisions of the REACH regulation.