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What is REACH?

REACH is a regulation concerning the importation and production of chemicals in the EU. The idea of REACH is to improve the protection of human health and the environment.

What does the REACH Regulation stand for?

REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals.

One part of this regulation involves the registration of these chemicals with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

Alongside the list of registered chemicals is a candidate list of substances of very high concern (SVHC), chemicals that may be a risk to human health or the environment. An appearance on this list is a precursor to either authorisation or restriction of use.

Fasteners are considered articles by the REACH regulations, and so the substances they are made from are a concern for REACH.

Who needs to comply with REACH?

Anyone importing or manufacturing large quantities of chemicals in the EU or UK is subject to REACH regulations.

What is the difference between REACH and RoHS?

RoHS is aimed at manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment, whilst the scope of REACH is relevant to chemical manufacturers or importers. They both seek to restrict the proliferation of hazardous substances.

What substances are exempt from REACH registration?

Total exemptions apply to substances in the following categories:

  • Radioactive substances
  • Substances in temporary storage under customs supervision
  • The transport of hazardous substances
  • Substances used in the interest of defense
  • Non-isolated intermediates
  • Waste, but not products recovered from waste

Is REACH still applicable to the UK?

REACH has been replicated into UK law, but the UK maintains its own registrations and lists. Because the UK is free to set up its own exemptions independent of the EU, potential future divergence of the UK RoHS from the EU RoHS may occur in the future.

Is REACH covered by CE marking?

CE marking includes products relevant to REACH.

Are mixtures exempt from REACH?

A mixture does not need to be registered itself, but each individual component of the mixture would need to have been registered by the manufacturer or importer at some point by someone unless there is an exemption.

What chemicals are restricted under REACH?

Typical hazardous substances that are restricted in products include lead, AZO dyes, DMF, PAHs, Phthalates, PFOS, the nickel release and so on.

How does REACH affect fasteners?

The materials that some fasteners are manufactured from include substances that appear on the REACH SVHC list in quantities above 0.1%.

The Westfield Fasteners REACH declaration is available upon request via email.

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