REACH regulations have significant implications for the European automotive industry. It is vital that the whole supply chain is aware of the tasks needed to achieve compliance.
REACH stands for the Registration, Restriction, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals, and came into existence in June 2007. It is managed by the European Chemical Agency (ECHA) based in Helsinki. REACH replaces some 40 legislative texts with a single regime of regulation. The responsibility has been given to industry to demonstrate that chemicals are safe both for human health and the environment. Importers or manufacturers are obliged to submit safety data on over 30,000 substances used in everyday articles such as cars, textiles, electronics, paints, packaging, mobile phones or toys.
The effective communication between all levels of the supply chain is vital. Definite contacts need to be in place between organisations enabling the transfer of chemical safety data from the importer or manufacturer down the supply chain.
- No Data Market
Companies that do not comply with REACH will have no market in the EEA. REACH poses a threat to any company doing business in the EEA (and businesses with customers or suppliers who do business in the EEA).
- Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC)
Individual chemicals that have particular hazardous properties are termed “Substances of Very High Concern” (SVHC's). These will have strict controls applied to their use. Ultimately, SVHC's will be removed from all supply chains, so close attention needs to be paid to their presence and monitoring of their use in advance of their disappearance. There may be several hundred SVHC's announced by the EU Member States or the European Commission in the coming few years, so their impact will be far reaching.
- Automotive Task Force on REACH
Leading automotive suppliers and vehicle manufacturers have come together to respond to the challenges set by REACH. The Task Force represents the position of the global automotive industry.
- Automotive Industry Guideline (AIG)
The Task Force has created this standardised approach to REACH. It is a practical guide that clearly outlines the necessary tasks. The AIG is highly recommended; it is easy to follow and brings clear benefits when implemented across industry. Automotive Industry Guideline (AIG) version 3.1 was released in June 2012.