April 30 2010

REACH regulations

At a very early stage, we aim to gain in-depth understanding of substance-related regulations like the REACH regulations, which will affect all manufacturing industries in the next ten years. This enables us to help our customers and provide them with comprehensive technical expertise relating to our products, even when they are not directly affected by these regulations.

What is REACH?

REACH is a European Union regulation instituting a unique integrated system for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of CHemicals. It was adopted on December 13, 2006 and came into force on June 1, 2007.

It aims to improve knowledge of the properties and dangers of chemical substances and the risks linked to using them in order to protect people and the environment more effectively.

It includes several processes: registrations (30,000 substances), authorizations (1,500 substances) and restrictions, which apply to European manufacturers and importers.

What is Mersen’s position with regard to the REACH regulation?

As a manufacturer, Mersen undertook to apply the regulation during the very gradual introduction period planned by the various different authorities. The roll-out is expected to run until 2018.

What systems have been put in place?

As soon as the draft Reach regulation was adopted, Mersen set up a multi-disciplinary committee bringing together all the relevant HSE, R&D and legal functions to oversee and ensure the consistency of efforts to comply with the regulation. An inventory of substances used was conducted, and the relevant pre-registrations were carried out in November 2008. Mersen is now working on the product registration phase. This will run from December 2010 until December 2018, depending on the tonnages used.

Mersen has also taken into account the “Downstream User” directive and also ensures that its partners and notably its principal suppliers have taken the REACH regulations on board.