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REACH legislative proposal

On 29 October 2003, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new EU regulatory framework for chemicals, COM (2003) 644 (01) and COM (2003) 644 (02). Under the proposed new system called REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals), enterprises that manufacture or import more than one tonne of a chemical substance per year would be required to register it in a central database.

The aims of the proposed new Regulation are to improve the protection of human health and the environment while maintaining the competitiveness and enhancing the innovative capability of the EU chemicals industry. REACH would furthermore give greater responsibility to industry to manage the risks from chemicals and to provide safety information on the substances. This information would be passed down the chain of production. The proposal has been drafted in close consultation with all interested parties, including an Internet consultation. This has allowed the Commission to propose a streamlined and cost-effective system. The proposal is now being considered by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU for adoption under the so-called co-decision procedure.

Background documentation:

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