All companies that handle chemical substances on their own or within mixtures will be affected by this legislation. Whilst the main duties of registration are those of the importer or manufacturer of the substance, downstream users – even distributors and re-fillers – are given tasks. These duties will lead to much more communication up and down the supply chain.
Supply Chain Duties Under REACH
REACH places duties on the majority of companies involved in the supply chain, not just the manufacturers and importers. It is important to ensure that your company is aware of its duties to avoid falling outside regulatory compliance. Below are outlined some of the obligations within the supply chain, although the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Web site should be consulted to ascertain your company’s full duties.
Manufacturers and Importers
It is the duty of manufacturers and importers (assuming their import of a substance is over 1 tonne per year) to own a valid registration or pre-registration (dependent on the point in the REACH process). The registration includes the Chemical Safety Report/Assessment as well as the generation and communication of exposure scenarios down the supply chain.
General Downstream Users
The REACH guidance prepared by the Commission, with input from Industry, consultants and trade associations, identifies several types of downstream user, each with different obligations under REACH. Types of downstream users include, distributors, re-fillers, formulators and article producers.
The REACH navigator provided on the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Web site is an excellent tool to ascertain the role of general downstream users under REACH. The summary presented in the list below was taken from the guidance for downstream users, available on the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) Web site.
Roles / Obligations:
- All downstream users and distributors (including retailers and storage providers)
- Identify roles and obligations.
- Inform suppliers of any new information on hazards, including classification and labeling.
- Communicate information that might call into question the appropriateness of the risk management measures in any exposure scenario received.
- Pass on relevant exposure scenarios and use the relevant information in the safety data sheet (SDS) received when compiling own SDS. Furthermore, distributors shall provide customers with the information that is supplied to them in accordance with Article 32 of REACH regulation. Downstream users that supply substances or preparations have additional obligations, as described below.
- Additional obligations for formulators, end-users, re-fillers
- Identify and apply appropriate measures to control the risks communicated in safety data sheet or other information supplied with non-dangerous substances or preparations.
- Check compliance with an exposure scenario, if you receive one from your supplier, and take further action in case of non-compliance.
- For substances subject to authorization, comply with the conditions of the authorization covering your use. You may need to apply for an authorization if your use is not covered by an authorization granted to a supplier and you want to continue this use.
- Check compliance with any restrictions on the substance.
- Additional obligations for formulators and re-fillers only
- Provide information to your customers and to retailers/consumers to enable safe use of substances or preparations. Downstream users that supply substances or preparations shall recommend appropriate measures to control risks. These shall be identified either in safety data sheets, the information that is supplied in accordance with Article 32 of REACH regulation, or in their own chemical safety report.