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U.S. Mission to the European Union

The Latest on REACH

ECHA Pre-Registration

REACH is a major reform of EU chemicals policy, affecting all global supply chains that produce and use chemicals. The first deadline is December 1st, 2008 for the pre-registration of chemicals with the EEuropean Chemicals Agency (ECHA). This webpage is for U.S. exporters to Europe, particularly SMEs, to inform them about requirements under REACH and to help them prepare for compliance. This webpage includes official EU documents and U.S. government reports, and a list of business service providers offering consulting or legal advice for REACH compliance.


REACH Conferences:
Keller and Heckman LLP's Advanced REACH Course
30 September 2008
Brussels, Belgium

On 10 October 08, ECHA will be organizing its first stakeholders' day in Helsinki, focusing on (pre)-registration and authorization. Registration is open until September 5th. The conference will be webcasted.

New REACH documents:
Draft Annexes IV and V : The EU is reviewing annexes IV and V listing exemptions from REACH. Adoption of proposed amendments is foreseen in September or October 2008.

New guidance on Authorization has been published on the ECHA website. The document describes how substances are included in the authorization system, starting with the identification of substances of very high concern and their inclusion in the 'Candidate List'. Substances on the Candidate list are then prioritized for inclusion in Annex XIV (list of substances requiring authorization for the EU market).

Are you covered by REACH? 

Non-EU based companies do not have direct obligations under REACH. Manufacturers and importers established in the EU must comply with the regulation. U.S. exporters may appoint an "Only Representative" in Europe to fulfill the obligations of importers.

All chemicals entering the EU market in quantities greater than one metric ton per year are affected by REACH, unless specifically exempted in the regulation. Chemicals in these amounts, exported to the EU in preparations and, in some cases, articles, may also need to be (pre-)registered.

To help you determine if your products are affected by REACH, ECHA has provided some online tools to clarify your REACH obligations, beginning with the REACH Navigator. More detailed information can be found in the REACH Guidance Documents, including guidance on registration, substances in articles, and monomers and polymers.

If you require further assistance, here is a list of REACH Business Service and Solution Providers.

You may also submit questions directly to ECHA by using their online Q&A portal.

Looking for an Only Representative? 

REACH gives the option to non-EU manufacturers to appoint an Only Representative (OR) in the EU to make sure that their exports comply with REACH without having to disclose information on their products to the importers. The OR must carry out all obligations of importers under REACH, including (pre-)registration.

Pre-registration lasts until 1 December 2008 and can be done online at the ECHA Website.

Our list of Only Representatives (ORs) is a selection of firms which offer assistance to U.S. businesses in making sure their products comply with REACH. These providers have paid to be a part of our listing, and while we believe them to be reliable and have checked the references they provided, their presence on our list does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. Commercial Service. This list is not an exhaustive list of all European firms offering OR services. Please note that there is no EU accreditation system for ORs.

New guidance on Only Representatives published. Please see Section of the guidance document on Registration published by ECHA. A new update will be published soon to cover the issue of indirect exports to the EU.

SME Portal

Small- and medium-sized enterprises benefit from reduced fees under REACH, and many SMEs could fall within a REACH exemption for chemicals entering the EU market in quantities less than than 1 metric ton per year.

Who qualifies as an SME for the purposes of REACH compliance? The category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is made up of businesses employing fewer than 250 persons and having annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro. For more information, consult the SME User Guide. The SME reduction applies to Only Representatives based on the size of the non-EU manufacturer that they represent.  

Legal Texts:

The original REACH Regulation was adopted in December 06, and any updates to the text will be made available at the ECHA Website.

REACH Fee Regulation
Testing Methods for REACH

EU Brochures

REACH FAQs updated June 08.
Information for exporters to the EU.
Summaries of Guidance documents

US Sources of Information

REACH Contacts across the EU. For a list of U.S. Commercial Service personnel who handle REACH-related inquiries, please click here.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Toxic Substances Control Act page and Globally Harmonized System for Classification and Labelling page.

ANSI: American National Standards Institute 

REACH Service and Solution Providers:

For further assistance on REACH, please see our list of REACH Service and Solution Providers.

EU Websites:

European Chemicals Agency
National Helpdesks
DG Enterprise
DG Environment

Contact Information:

If you have additional questions not covered on this website, please send an email to the following address: and reference "REACH Inquiry" in the subject line. One of our specialists will respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

Links to web sites outside the U.S. Government or the use of trade, firm, or corporation names within U.S. Commercial Service web sites are for the convenience of the user. Such links and use do not constitute an express or implied official endorsement or approval by the United States Department of Commerce of any private sector web site, or of the products or services of specifically identified companies or entities.