Regulation 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals ("REACH") applies to every manufacturer or importer into the European Union ("EU") of chemical substances on their own or in a mixture. REACH also applies, to a limited extent, to finished articles involving the release of chemicals or containing certain chemicals of concern.
The purpose of this Commentary is to briefly introduce the main recent developments on REACH that are relevant for the petrochemical industry.
2018: Registration for Chemicals Between 1-100 Tons
May 31, 2018 is the last REACH registration deadline that is applicable to existing low-tonnage substances (on their own or in a mixture). This deadline applies to pre-registered substances manufactured/imported into the EU in quantities of 1-100 tons per calendar year per manufacturer/importer that do not have carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotox properties. If the relevant substance is not registered by its specific manufacturer/importer by that date, it will no longer be placed on the market in the EU.
If a substance has not been pre-registered, it has to be registered immediately. Late pre-registration may still be an option until 31 May 2017, however. More information about REACH registration is available here.
Continuing Identification of Substances as SVHC and REACH Authorization Process
EU authorities are continuously identifying additional chemical substances as Substances of Very High Concern ("SVHC"), which are then listed on the Candidate List held by the European Chemical Agency ("ECHA"). Substances on the Candidate List might be subject to inclusion into Annex XIV REACH ("Authorization List"), which lists the substances that are subject to the REACH authorization requirement. Such substances cannot be used in the EU after a specified date, unless a company (or an actor upstream) has received an authorization for the specific use from the European Commission. More information about the REACH authorization process and applications for authorizations are available here.
The Authorization List currently includes, among others, four phthalates (DEHP, BBP, DBP and DIBP), brominated flame retardants and several chromates. Substances that are on the Candidate List include coal tars, anthracene oil and other PAHs, and several aromatic hydrocarbons such as phenolphthalein. Substances for which the procedure for the identification as an SVHC is pending include several...