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Nanomaterials in REACH and CLP

REACH is the over-arching legislation applicable to the manufacture, placing on the market and use of substances on their own, in preparations or in articles. Nanomaterials are covered by the definition of a "substance" in REACH, even though there is no explicit reference to nanomaterials. The general obligations in REACH, such as registration of substances manufactured at 1 tonne or more and providing information in the supply chain apply as for any other substance.

The Commission Communication on the Second Regulatory Review on Nanomaterials (October 2012) as well as the REACH Review (February 2013) concluded that REACH and CLP offered the best possible framework for the risk management of nanomaterials when they occur as substances or in mixtures. However, within this framework more specific requirements for nanomaterials have proven necessary.

Therefore the Commission is considering to modify some of the technical provisions in the REACH Annexes, and has launched a public consultation to this effect which is open for input from 21 June 2013 until 13 September 2013.

Nanomaterials that fulfill the criteria for classification as hazardous under Regulation 1272/2008 on classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) of substances and mixtures must be classified and labelled. This applies to nanomaterials as substances in their own right, or nanomaterials as special forms of the substance. Many of the related provisions, including safety data sheets and classification and labelling apply already today, independently of the tonnage in which the substances are manufactured or imported. Substances, including nanomaterials, meeting the classification criteria as hazardous should have been notified to ECHA by 3 January 2011. Any further update to the classification must also be notified without undue delay. Based on the information received under REACH registrations and CLP notifications, ECHA published a  classification and labelling inventory.