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REACH Implementation step 1, check your business case.

In order to make your company REACH (and CLP) compliant, in the REACH Bootcamp, we distinguish four REACH implementation steps. The first step is to check which role(s) according to REACH and CLP the legal entities in your business will have.

The REACH (and CLP) requirements will follow from the legal role(s) as summarized in the table below. Since all roles are defined for “any natural or legal person established within the EC”, that is for the legal entity (LE), it is important to identify and map the correct role(s) per legal entity in relation to your business case.

Legal entity role(s) & definitions relevant for REACH and CLP.

Role Definition Reference
Manufacturer Means any natural or legal person established within the EC who manufactures a substance within the EC. Manufacturing means production or extraction of substances in the natural state. REACH Art. 3.8 & 3.9; CLP Art.2.14 & 2.15
Importer Means any natural or legal person established within the EC who is responsible for import. Import means the physical introduction into the customs territory of the Community. REACH Art.  3.10 &3.11; CLP Art.2.16 & 2.17
Downstream user Means any natural or legal person established within the Community, other than the manufacturer or the importer, who uses a substance, either on its own or in a mixture, in the course of his industrial or professional activities. A distributor or a consumer is not a downstream user. REACH Art. 3.13;
CLP Art.2.19
Distributor Means any natural or legal person established within the Community, including a retailer, who only stores and places on the market a substance, on its own or in a mixture, for third parties. REACH Art. 3.14;
CLP Art. 2.20
Supplier Means any manufacturer, importer, downstream user or distributor placing on the market a substance, on its own or in a mixture, or a mixture. Placing on the market means supplying or making available, whether in return for payment or free of charge, to a third party. Import shall be deemed to be placing on the market. REACH Art. 3.12 & 3.32; CLP Art. 2.18 & 2.26

We therefore advise you to join forces with your company lawyer and management and prepare a complete overview of all legal entities (LE) in your company with at least the legal entity names, their locations and the countries they are in.

  • Then it is important to take good note of the legal definitions and to assess if and how these apply to your legal entities and if these can be optimized. This will be added to your overview as a starting point to justify and clarify your REACH and CLP requirements.
  • If you have more than one legal entity connected to one company location, it is important to identify which LE is connected to any of the legal role(s) and which LE does not have any role under REACH.
  • If you also have locations / legal entities outside the European Union that export substances or mixtures to the EU, it is wise to define your strategy on how to organize the REACH compliance obligations for your non-European products. If you do nothing, the European customers for your non-European products will become importers and may have registration and other REACH obligations. To prevent this for your European customers, you can use an Only Representative under REACH Art 8 or ensure that your products are imported centrally via one of your European legal entities. Appointing an Only Representative versus a central importer model has its advantages and disadvantages and it will depend on your business case which option is best for you.
  • Finally, check the landscape of your products. Can you identify any relevant industry sectors or associations for your products and/or markets? If so, it is recommended to check their websites for relevant REACH information and positions. As such you can benefit from an aligned position of your products and product uses in the market. Cefic provides a helpfull overview of the associations and status of some REACH relevant harmonisation steps on their website.

This overview, together with a high-level picture of the product flows between your legal entities is crucial for a correct and optimum implementation of your REACH obligations. It will help you demonstrate how you have organized REACH in your company in case you are inspected.

On the REACH Bootcamp of March 30th (in Dutch) or April 6th (in English) we will support you actively to process this important first REACH implementation step specific for your business case. Click on the link or visit for more details and online registration.

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