EU Plans for Tighter Risk Management

As part of its revision of REACH, the EU now wants to subject fewer substances to an accelerated restriction procedure than it originally planned. The procedure is to apply to substances in articles that have a high potential of exposure to consumers and professionals.

According to the current version of Article 68, Paragraph 2 of REACH, only CMR substances, that is substances with carcinogenic, germ-cell mutagenic or reprotoxic effects, can be withdrawn from circulation more quickly. In the future, for example, this approach will also be enabled for persistent or particularly mobile substances.

The background here is a different approach to risk management. With this generic risk approach (GRA), the EU will dispense with a use-specific risk assessment in the future. Instead, the restriction will be based solely on certain substance properties. Whether the substance could still be used safely if measures were taken is then irrelevant.

This change has considerable consequences for industry and traders. Under the new REACH requirements, manufacturers are obliged to reformulate any affected products, which entails costs.

That’s why all partners involved in the REACH revision are wrestling with which substances the GRA should apply to in the future and what consequences the changes will have for users.

The draft legislative text is expected to be published in the fourth quarter of this year.

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