The end of an era for chemicals

After years of wrangling and months of preparations, the Reach chemical policy is finally coming into being. The 1st of December marks the end of an era for Europe’s chemical industry.

Until that date, companies could introduce new substances to market safe in the knowledge they would only be challenged about them if someone could prove they posed a risk. From this month, that is no longer the case.

Firms have had to pre-register the substances they produce with the newly formed European Chemicals Agency (Echa), which became fully operational in June. Failure to do so would exclude them from the EU market.

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