REACH (the EU's regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) will transform the European chemical industry and will have profound implications for global chemical markets. Under the terms of the legislation, all chemicals of one ton or more in volume manufactured in, or imported into, the EU each year must be tested for their effect on health and safety and be registered with the European Chemicals Agency.
"We have been working extremely hard to meet the deadline and will now turn our attention to the next registration deadline of December 2010," said Dave Buckland, AkzoNobel's corporate regulatory affairs manager. "Obviously it's an enormous and very complex challenge, but it's also a business opportunity. One which will make an important contribution to the preservation of the environment and the quality of human life and we are determined to pay a full part in ensuring the success of the legislation."
As a result of REACH, some substances will inevitably be phased out of production or become uneconomical, while eco-efficient alternatives are likely to become more attractive. AkzoNobel anticipates registering around 700 substances. This is a much smaller number than the total amount pre-registered by the company because monomers and re-imports require pre-registration, but not full registration.