REACH: Registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals

Introduction

Guide

If you use, supply or manufacture chemical substances, or import them from outside the European Union (EU), you need to find out what duties you have under the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation. Make sure you know what you must do and when.

REACH aims to protect human health and the environment through the control of chemical substances. Most businesses use chemicals in some way, so REACH is likely to affect you.

REACH applies to a wide range of chemical substances, and chemicals in preparations or mixtures including coatings, pigments, dyes, inks and cleaning products. It also applies to chemical substances contained in finished products or articles, whether you are manufacturing or supplying them within the EU, or importing them from outside the EU.

This guide explains who REACH applies to and the different responsibilities that apply to manufacturers, importers, distributors and users of chemicals.

Important: From 1 January 2021, all businesses making, selling or distributing chemicals into Great Britain need to follow the rules of UK REACH regime.

Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, the existing EU chemicals regime, EU REACH continue to apply in Northern Ireland.

Find out more about the REACH regimes on the Health and Safety Executive website.