Chemical company urges vigilance in supply compliance

With the final deadline for the EU’s latest regulation on chemical use looming, speciality chemical supplier, Airedale Chemical is urging Yorkshire companies to make preparations now and potentially re-evaluate their chemical consumption.

REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) covers all chemicals used on their own or as part of formulas within the EU covering all applications including industrial and consumer sectors.

The aim is for all chemicals imported into the EU or European Economic Area to be registered, tested and authorised by the ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) and is likely to affect businesses of all sizes in almost all industries.

The deadline for the final phase of implementation is 1 June 2018 and Elaine O’Neill, market manager for surfactants at Airedale Chemical is advising those in the manufacturing, cleaning, waste management and agricultural industries  to address the issue sooner rather than later in order to ensure continued and smooth-running operations:

“REACH does not discriminate and applies to small businesses just as it does to large and multi-national companies. Although there are a few exceptions in the case of some substances such as waste, radioactive material and those used in the interests of defense, almost everything else is likely to be affected in some way by REACH regulations.

“Some chemical suppliers are likely to decide against applying for REACH approval due to financial or time restraints so it would be a mistake to assume your supplier will be registering the substances you rely on. Now is the time to check if your supplier intends to continue with its full repertoire of chemicals in order to keep your operations running seamlessly.

It’s essential to be prepared to make changes in your process or even investigate whether you could consolidate your chemical usage making it more economical and streamlined. We recommend taking the following steps to ensure your business remains compliant:

  • Ensure the chemicals you buy have a registration number where required
  • If no number is available, check the ECHA database for registration status
  • Do not presume your supplier will register all your regular products and ask for confirmation that it is being handled, or that it is exempt
  • Investigate if your chemical supplies can be sourced from an alternative, REACH registered supplier
  • Can your mixtures be made up with alternative substances? If so, look into formulations which are not reliant on chemicals affected by REACH

Although June 2018 is set as the final deadline it is likely that REACH will remain an important issue and an evolving matter for some time and the key to maintaining a smooth-running operation will be two-way communication throughout the supply chain between upstream and downstream users.

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