3 common REACH compliance failures – avoid them now!

April 08, 2019

TSG Consulting has been providing REACH services for over 10 years, supporting clients with many compliance challenges. Find out what three of our consultants have to say about the most common REACH compliance failures.

Failure 1 - Incorrect substance identity

"Substance identification has long been a main area of concern for ECHA when it comes to compliance with the REACH Regulation," says Steven Buchanan. "Manufacturers and importers have an obligation to clearly identify the substance by its chemical composition, name and other identifiers. Put simply, not knowing what the substance is brings into question the robustness of the whole registration in determining the hazard and risk of the substance. As such ECHA is increasingly using an early intervention strategy as part of an informal compliance check to ensure the identity of the substance is correct before moving on to other parts of the registration dossier. Indeed, companies recognise that failure in substance identification can lead to contractual problems, invalidity of data sharing agreements and inappropriate read-across assumptions. Getting it right from the start is therefore critical. The consequences for getting it wrong and the price to be paid can be high!"

Steven Buchanan, Senior Regulatory Chemist

For 11 years, Steven worked as a scientific officer in the substance identity and data sharing unit at ECHA, where he was involved in substance identity related aspects of all significant REACH and CLP processes. He has also worked at the Health & Safety Executive in the UK. Steven has a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with Industrial Chemistry.

Failure 2 - Overlooking safety data sheets (SDS)

"REACH compliant extended SDS are often a problem," says Craig Kelly. "This is usually because they are the last documents to be updated following new data or spontaneous updates, and revising them sometimes gets overlooked. In addition, the use-related data in the extension appendix is often inaccurately or wrongly translated. As it is the key hazard and RMM communication tool from you to your downstream users, it is a primary focus for compliance inspections and so often a free hit."

Craig Kelly, Senior Consultant

Craig provides strategic advice to clients, guidance on data requirements, alternative methods and testing strategies. He is involved in the management of a number of consortia. Craig has a degree in Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, a Masters in Applied Toxicology and a PhD in Pesticide Formulation Efficacy.

Failure 3 - Articles are in scope of REACH too

"Companies often focus on chemical substances and mixtures when identifying their REACH regulatory obligations," says Steven Brennan. "While REACH is probably best known for its registration requirements, which only relate to substances, there are quite a number of regulatory hurdles for physical goods, also known as articles, under REACH. For example, if a company supplies a customer with an article containing lead, there’s a good chance that an Article 33 declaration is required. This could be for lead used in printed circuit boards on an aeroplane or a lead-containing battery in a golf cart."

Steven Brennan, Senior Regulatory Manager

Prior to joining TSG, Steven worked for manufacturing companies in the aerospace industry, managing chemical substitution programmes. He has a degree and a PhD in Chemistry from Queens University of Belfast.

Next steps

The consequences of not complying with REACH can be high. Ensure your company complies by appointing TSG to undertake a REACH compliance assessment. In addition to evaluating your operation, we will determine your suppliers’ levels of REACH readiness, as well as check the compliance performance of any Only Representatives (OR) you may be working with. Complete the form opposite to find out more.

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