On June 1 2007 a new European regulation on the safety of chemical products known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) came into force.

The regulation governs the manufacturing and marketing of chemical products and all aspects of their use within the European Union. It directly concerns a wide range of producers, importers, distributors and consumers of chemicals in the EU member countries, while at the same time affecting companies in non-EU countries (so-called “third countries”) that export their products to the European market and consume chemical substances and blends manufactured in Europe.

The main elements of the regulations are:

  1. Pre-registration of products classified under REACH
  2. Registration of chemical substances
  3. Assessment of substances and information on them (technical dossier)
  4. Receipt of permits for marketing and use
  5. Introduction of restrictions on manufacture, marketing and use
  6. Use of agreed classification and marking
  7. Organization of access to information on substances.

At least 30,000 existing and new chemicals will be registered under these regulations. The requirements introduced by REACH, which must be followed by producers, importers and consumers of chemicals, depend on the hazardous properties of the substances concerned, their impact on the environment and public health, and the expect scale of their manufacture, export and use. Without registration (i.e. in the absence of authentic information) it will not be permitted to produce, import, sell or use specific chemicals within European Union countries. The underlying principles for co-operation between interested parties under REACH, therefore, becomes: “No data – no market”.

Responsibility for organizing and information on REACH, as well as its enforcement lies with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which was established in Helsinki, Finland on June 1 2007.

The new system governing the manufacture, marketing and use of chemicals is designed to achieve three prime objectives within the European Union – economic, social and environmental.

In line with the REACH requirements SIBUR, like all other manufacturers and importers of chemicals, will identify and manage the risks relating to the substances it manufactures and markets. REACH requires a review of the safe use of products over their life cycle, and SIBUR will co-operate with suppliers and customers in order to meet these requirements.

SIBUR successfully fulfilled its aim to ensure timely registration of all the products it currently markets that are subject to the registration requirement. Also, the company provided its downstream users with the risk information they needed to make safe use of the substances.

All SIBUR customers will be informed of any changes to supply issues caused by REACH. More information on REACH can be found at European Chemicals Agency web site: http://www.echa.europa.eu/.