Expansion of the REACH regulation to include imported products


The “safe use of chemicals” is a key objective of REACH, the EU regulation on chemicals. Since the regulation entered into force, Oeko Institut has been working on its design and further development with policy makers, companies and consumer protection initiatives.

Together with the Society for Institutional Analysis (sofia), Oeko Institut analysed which changes to the REACH regulation can lead to a better protection of the environment and human health against Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) in consumer products. The analysis focused in particular on articles imported into the EU. In the first part of the expert report, the compatibility of expanding the authorisation requirement to include imported articles containing SVHC was examined on the basis of world trade law (WTO and TBT agreement).

The second section of the report contains seven changes and rules proposed by Oeko Institut, which can be used to close gaps in information on the presence of SVHC in products and improve the sharing of information in the production chain and with consumers. The proposals on the following aspects are worth highlighting:

·        standardised communication format for articles in the supply chain;

·        information requirements for registered use; and

·        labelling obligations for articles containing SVHC.

The results were recently discussed with experts from industry, NGOs and research as well as representatives of the European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) at a workshop in Brussels.

Oeko Institut’s presentation for the REACH workshop in Brussels can be found here (in English):

"Further Options to improve information and communication on articles containing SVHC"

Other presentations from the workshop can be found on sofia's website here



Andreas Hermann, LL.M.
Senior Researcher in Institutsbereich
Umweltrecht & Governance
Öko-Institut e.V., Büro Darmstadt
Tel.: +49 6151 8191-158
E-Mail: a.hermann--at--oeko.de