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Is My Product Under REACH?

Most products contain some form of substance within them at any point of the manufacturing process. Determining when your products need to be registered and at what stage can be difficult to assess.

A registration of substances in articles is obligatory for an article producer or importer only if the following conditions are met:

  • The substances are intended to be released from the produced or imported article(s) during normal and reasonable foreseeable conditions of use
  • The total amount of the substance present in the articles with intended releases produced and/or imported by that actor exceeds 1 ton per year per producer or importer.

Definition of an Article

An article refers to an object which during production is given a special shape, surface or design which determines its function to a greater degree than its chemical composition

An article is composed of one or more substances or preparations. Specific substances may be added to give the article special properties, for example: furniture, clothes, vehicles, toys. (Article 3(3)

What Has to be Registered?

  • Polymeric Articles: Do not need to be registered
  • Polymeric Substances: Substances are present in the article that are essential to its functionality
  • Polymeric Preparations: Substances are contained in the article that assist in preparation (i.e. fireworks)

Determining Articles

In order to determine an article, it is essential to assess the function of the article you are observing. The function is defined as "the basic principle determining the use of the object, rather than the degree of technical sophistication determining the quality of the result."

Once the function has been determined, it is necessary to look at what is relevant to the function. The shape, surface and design of an object can influence the way it functions. The chemical composition of an object also has an influence on the function.

If you can unambiguously conclude that the shape, surface and design of an object is more relevant for the function than the chemical composition, the form of the material you are assessing is an article and does not need to be registered. If, however, the chemical composition is more relevant to the function, the material is a substance or a preparation.

Steps to Determining an Article

  1. Determine the function(s) of the material by assessing the technical features of the material in relation to the intended function by the seller as well as the buyer of the material
  2. Decide on what is more relevant for the function, the shape/surface/design or the chemical composition

Further Definition

There are usually two instances when deciding on the relevance of the function can be more challenging:

  1. The borderline in the sequence of processing natural or synthetic materials to final articles, in particular deciding on "semi-finished products"
  2. The borderline between substances/preparations in special containers / on special carrier material and substances/preparations being (integral) parts of an article

In both of these situations, further information and guidance could be needed to determine the objects obligations under REACH.

Contact us for further assistance.