REACh(Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals) is an EU-wide chemicals regulation that came into force in mid-2007. It deals with the registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals and is intended to centralise and simplify the existing chemicals legislation.
Reach abolishes the distinction between existing and new substances, i.e. chemicals that were and have been on the market before (existing substances) and since 1981 (new substances).
New substances must already be tested for possible health risks and environmental pollution before they are placed on the market. Sufficient information is therefore available on new substances. In contrast, little is often known about the more than 100,000 existing substances. Reach aims to change that.
Reach provides structured data on the properties of substances and their use. The manufacturer is obliged to collect and make available data on the chemicals during the production and value chain up to disposal.