If the volume manufactured or imported is at or above 10 tonnes per year, the employer also must use the collected information to assess the risks for workers

European Organizations Alerting Companies About Final REACH Deadline

It is May 31, 2018, and companies manufacturing or importing existing substances in volumes between 1 and 100 tonnes per year are affected. (A tonne equals 1,000 kilograms, or about 2,204 pounds.)

Three European organizations have banded together to alert EU companies about the final registration deadline under REACH (the acronym stands for Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). It is May 31, 2018, and companies manufacturing or importing existing substances in volumes between 1 and 100 tonnes per year are affected. (A tonne equals 1,000 kilograms, or about 2,204 pounds.)

The deadline is for registering chemical substances manufactured or imported into the EU. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), based in Brussels, have joined with the European Agency for Safety and Health At Work (EU OSHA) to publish a leaflet about the final deadline. The leaflet is intended for workers' representatives and can be downloaded in any of the EU languages from this website.

By the final registration deadline, all affected employers must gather all available information about the properties of the substance; share it with other manufacturers and importers of the same substance; determine with them if they as co-registrants have all information needed for registration and, if not, fill in the gaps together; and document this in a registration dossier. But if the volume manufactured or imported is at or above 10 tonnes per year, the employer also must use the collected information to assess the risks for workers' and consumers' health and the environment, and also identify the necessary risk management measures to ensure the safe use of the substance by the company and its customers.

Companies are also obliged by then to gather all available information about the properties of the substances and to update their safety data sheets.

ETUC is calling on workers' representatives from companies using chemicals to check that the substances their companies use are being registered by the deadline and that risk management measures are implemented to ensure the safe use of chemicals.

ETUC's dedicated REACH web page is www.etuc.org/issue/reach.

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