REACH compliance for non-food importers

All you need to know about REACH regulation

REACH, short for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, is an important EU regulation that regulates the safety of chemicals in products. This legislation, implemented in 2007, applies to all EU member states and is important for companies that import or trade chemicals. REACH focuses on protecting public health and the environment, while also stimulating innovation within the chemical industry. For importers of non-food products, understanding and complying with REACH is not only a legal necessity, but also an opportunity to demonstrate their responsibility towards safety and sustainability.

The REACH obligations

Any company that imports chemicals into the EU in quantities of more than one tonne per year must register these substances under the REACH regulation. This obligation applies to pure chemical substances, mixtures, and in some cases to products containing these substances. Failure to comply with REACH registration can lead to significant sanctions and legal problems. This makes it essential for companies to understand their REACH responsibilities so they can take the necessary steps to comply with the legislation.

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Testing and compliance

To comply with the REACH regulation, companies must have their products tested. These tests, carried out by accredited laboratories, help determine whether products comply with REACH standards. The duration of these tests varies, but typically lasts between 7 and 21 days. Despite the importance of these tests, there are still many EU importers who are not fully aware of these requirements. Compliance with REACH is monitored by national market surveillance authorities, who carry out regular inspections and request test reports, highlighting the importance of compliance.

The exceptions and limitations

There are certain exceptions within the REACH regulations. For example, substances used in medicines or as food additives are exempt from REACH registration. In addition, substances that are under customs supervision in the EU and are not processed or treated are also excluded from REACH. Knowledge of these exceptions is crucial for companies to avoid unnecessary registration and costs, and to ensure that their products are fully compliant with regulations.

Advice for importers

It is important for importers, especially outside the EU, to read the REACH regulations carefully and, if necessary, seek professional help. This may mean appointing an 'Only Representative' to fulfill registration requirements. Such a representative can help navigate the complexities of REACH, making it easier to comply with regulations and reducing the risk of non-compliance.

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The role of REACH in sustainable entrepreneurship

REACH plays a key role in supporting sustainable entrepreneurship within the chemical industry. By setting strict rules for chemicals, REACH promotes the development and use of safer alternatives. This not only contributes to a safer production process, but also offers opportunities for companies to innovate and distinguish themselves in the market. Companies that comply with REACH standards demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility, which can lead to a stronger market position and improved consumer confidence.


REACH is more than just a regulatory framework; it is a catalyst for responsible business practices and innovation. By complying with these rules, companies can avoid legal sanctions while having a positive impact on both the environment and human health. For companies targeting the European market, compliance with REACH is an essential step in maintaining sustainability and safety in their supply chain.

Are your products REACH compliant?

Contact us for expert advice on REACH and ensure your company complies with EU regulations.

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