The European REACH regulation (EC 1907/2006) is an EU Regulation which came into force in June 2007 concerned with how chemicals are used and to increase protection for chemical users and consumers.
REACH is an acronym which stands for Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation (& Restriction) of Chemicals. The guiding principles of the Regulation is to prevent exposure to the most harmful chemicals, increase the information about chemicals in the supply chain to encourage safe use.
REACH can be seen as a regulatory journey rather than a sudden changes and the first phase ended in 2018 which meant all chemicals that were initially notified will have had a dossier submitted by the manufacturers or importers relating to the risks associated with the chemicals and information on the way the chemical is used in production.
Although the focus is on the production and use of chemicals, in order to ensure that goods imported from outside the EU do not pose risk for the environment or consumers from the presence of potentially harmful chemicals there are two key requirements that apply to all consumer goods, including furniture.
There are a group of chemicals which are restricted and should not be present in any products within the scope of the restriction placed on the European market. These are known as Annex XVII and there are 71 different groups of chemicals covered but not all chemicals are applicable to all materials.
The other group of chemicals are known as Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs) and these are 211 different substances that are known to be harmful but are currently undergoing evaluation. These are not yet restricted but if any of the substances are present in a product at a concentration greater than 0.1% then information about the presence of the substance needs to be placed into the supply chain.
We have developed a series of Training Modules that can provide details about how the different aspects of the regulation affect your business and the different potential routes to compliance.
In addition to these online learning modules FIRA can also offer bespoke training for your organisation to focus on your exact requirements or provide training for your suppliers to help them understand your chemical requirements.
Other REACH services include reviewing Restricted Substances Lists or providing guidance on testing programmes and perform gap analysis of chemical information.
Members of the Furniture Industry Research Association are kept up to date with regular updates which highlight any recent or upcoming changes to the requirements that may impact the industry.
John Hubbard our Technical Consultant for chemical regulation has over 30 years of experience in testing and dealing with chemical issues in consumer goods.
Our technical services experts have a long history and wealth of experience in the furniture industry, offering support across the furniture supply chain.
John is a Chartered Chemist with over 30 years’ experience, he is an expert on REACH and its impact on the furniture sector.