Association, Inc.

Issue No. 3, 2007

Automotive Industry Guidelines on REACH

As explained in Guideline on REACH, the European Commission’s REACH Regulation was adopted into EU law in December 2006 and enforced as of 1 June 2007.  The main objectives of REACH are to:

REACH places the responsibility upon industry to provide safety information for the substances it uses and to properly manage the risks arising from such use.  Under the previous regime, the burden of proof had been on governments to prove that substances were unsafe and to restrict their use.

REACH affects all industries including the automotive industry. As it comprises vehicle manufacturers and multiple tiers of the supply chain, the automotive industry has several roles and obligations under REACH.

In advance of REACH enforcement, the representatives of major vehicle producers (ACEA, JAMA, KAMA) and the automotive supply chain (CLEPA) formed a REACH Task Force for the purpose of establishing a strategy to harmonise the REACH implementation process for the auto sector.

guideline on REACHIn July the Task Force produced its first guidelines on REACH (see inset).  Intended to provide practical help to downstream users of substances/preparations and articles in their industrial processes, these guidelines are also addressed to producers and importers of articles.  They serve as an aide-mémoire to assist with the preparation of compliance with the new legislation.

This "living document" will be developed further in tandem with REACH implementation—that is, it will be updated on the basis of the outcomes of the REACH Implementation Projects (RIPs) and the practical experiences gained during REACH implementation.

While the Task Force cannot impose its recommendations on members, the hope is that these recommendations will be widely adopted to avoid duplication of effort and confusion all along the supply chain.

The guidelines are available at www.acea.be/reach (see extracts below).