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EU Regulatory Update: Deadlines Loom Under the EU REACH Legislation


The EU REACH legislation establishes an integrated system for the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemical substances. It requires all companies (including US-based companies) which manufacture in, or import chemical substances into, the EU in quantities of one ton or more per year to register them with the European Chemicals Agency in Helsinki, Finland.

Companies which have pre-registered "phase-in" substances (which include those listed in the European Inventory of Existing Commercial Chemical Substances) benefit from extended registration deadlines. A May 31, 2013 deadline for registration applies to substances produced or imported into the EU in volumes of between 100 and 1000 tons per year per manufacturer or importer.

The REACH legislation requires that the EU member states introduce penalties for non-compliance with its provisions. For example, in the UK, national enforcement provisions provide maximum penalties of an unlimited fine and/or up to two years' imprisonment following conviction on indictment for relevant infringements.

Downstream users of chemical substances should check to ensure that their suppliers have registered the relevant substances. Otherwise, they will be unable to use un-registered substances which will be banned after the deadline.

In order to obtain assistance for compliance with the EU REACH legislation or any other EU regulatory issues, please contact one of the professionals listed below.

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