Preparing for Reach 2018

A looming deadline for dealing with chemicals could affect businesses. Now is the time to act, says Melissa Chevin.

This September saw the launch of Merchandise World and with it, the first ever Business Clinic LIVE, hosted by the BPMA. During each session, the audience was given the opportunity to get answers to the questions that matter. Quality assurance and compliance topped the list of most asked questions. Audience members were keen to fully understand the impact of the latest regulations, asking questions of our expert panel, and so, in this issue, we are focusing on some of the key take-outs and important next steps.

The impending deadline of 31 May 2018 relating to REACH, a European Union regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals was at the forefront of the discussions. Rob Hinchcliffe from inspection, product testing and certification company Intertek was able to provide insight in to this multifaceted area, which, given the timescale for negotiating Brexit, will still affect UK companies.

In outline, REACH is designed to ensure that chemicals on the market in the EU do not impact adversely on human health or the environment. It may affect your business if you manufacture or import in excess of one tonne of chemical substances per year from outside the EU, either on their own or contained within a product. Under the new legislation all substances falling within that criteria will have to be registered individually. If, in 2008, you pre-registered substances within the scope of REACH that you manufacture or import at over one tonne per year, but less than 100 tonnes per year, but have not yet fully registered them, then the 2018 deadline also concerns you.

This is a complex area and now is the time to look at your supply chain, if you haven’t already started, to ensure that all the appropriate registrations are in place. If you would like to find out more information about the requirements that must be met by May 2018, the experts at Intertek have produced a white paper that gives members guidance on the scope of REACH and the steps for submitting a successful registration on time to ensure you don’t put your business at risk by failure to comply.

BPMA members can request a complimentary copy of Substance Identification for REACH: Managing Analytical Data Requirements by emailing

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