EU evaluates REACH chemical legislation

During spring 2017, the European Commission is conducting a review of the REACH chemical legislation. The Swedish Chemicals Agency has submitted several proposals for how the legislation could be applied more effectively.

“The REACH legislation has contributed significantly to the increased protection of human health and the environment. There are, however, shortcomings in how the legislation is applied, which could be remedied by the simplification and clarification of certain processes in REACH”, says Alicja Andersson, investigator at the Swedish Chemicals Agency.

Once every five years, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the REACH chemical legislation is conducted by EU member states, the EU Commission and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Such a review of the regulation is currently in progress, for the second time since REACH came into force in 2007.

Before the European Commission began working with the REACH report, a public consultation was held in which various parties were given the opportunity to contribute with comments and proposals. During the public consultation, the Swedish Chemicals Agency made a number of suggestions for how the regulation could be made to work more effectively.

In the view of the Swedish Chemicals Agency, there are three areas within the REACH regulation on which it is particularly important to focus in the review: the registration of chemical substances, the regulation of harmful substances in products, and the driving forces behind the replacement of harmful chemicals with better alternatives. One of the issues identified by the Swedish Chemicals Agency is the fact that applications for authorisation within REACH are often approved irrespective of the quality of the application. For restriction proposals, on the other hand, there is a tendency to demand further evidence even when the available data is sufficient to warrant scientific concern.

“The single-most important way to increase the effectiveness of the REACH regulation would be to introduce measures to raise the quality threshold for applications to register chemical substances. At the moment, unfortunately, much of the submitted documentation does not fulfil the requirements of the legislation”, says Alicja Andersson.

Read the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s comments about the REACH review (PDF 216 kB) , 215.5 kB.

Read the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s response to the public consultation on the REACH review PDF 636 kB) , 635.7 kB.

Read more about the evaluation of the REACH regulation and see all the responses to the public consultation at the European Commission’s website External link.

Read more about the REACH regulation

For more information, please feel free to contact:

Alicja Andersson, investigator, +46 8 519 41 261

The Swedish Chemicals Agency’s press service, +46 8 519 41 200,

E-mail addresses of the Swedish Chemicals Agency’s employees are written as follows: