The REACH Regulation marks a fundamental reform of European chemicals legislation. REACH regulates the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals. The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki oversees the implementation of the REACH program.
From June 1, 2008, there has been an obligation to register chemical substances. From June 1 to December 1, 2008, producers and importers had to pre-register all existing substances (phase-in substances), some of which have been on the European market for decades, with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
Under the REACH legislation, Henkel, as a formulator, is mainly a downstream user of chemicals. The company is reliant on upstream suppliers for the preregistration/registration of raw materials and has been working since November 2007 to establish their intentions regarding the pre-registration and registration of the substances they supply. Furthermore Henkel does not rely on a single supply for strategic and critical raw materials and for this reason it is confident regarding its ability for continued supply of products to its customers.
There will be a possibility due to REACH that a limited number of individual, special formulations might no longer be offered, due to potential raw material restrictions. In these cases Henkel will be contacting its customers to discuss alternative solutions.
In any case, by accepting Henkels order suppliers confirm to deliver only REACH compliant raw materials.
Intended Uses and UseReports
In connection with the registration processes, which will take place during the next years, the Intended Uses of chemical substances must be part of the registration dossiers. Industrial associations developed a standard format of UseReports based on the ECHA Use & Exposure Descriptors according RIP 3.2 Chapter R12 and R16 in which the uses at Henkels customers have been included as far as they are known to Henkel. These use reports will be reported to Henkels suppliers in order to be part of their registration dossiers.
Concerning Henkels products for Surface Treatment and Metal Pre-Treatment Henkels UseReports are explained and published on the web site of AISE (International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products):
and for adhesives and sealants on the web site of FEICA (European Adhesive Association) respectively:
Henkels customers are asked to have a look at these web sites and to check whether their uses are covered. If not Henkel strongly recommends that they report their missing uses to Henkel by referring to the listed ECHA-Use-Descriptors. This is the only way to include such missing uses into Henkels use-communication along the supply chain. Please keep in mind that some specific Use Descriptors may be included in more generic ones.
Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC)
A first official candidate list of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) has been published on the website of the European Chemicals Agency (http://echa.europa.eu) on October 28th, 2008, supplemented by a second one on January 13th 2010. (. On 30th of March 2010 ECHA informed about Acrylamid which was also included into the SVHC list.
Special obligations of information concerning SVHC in articles are written in Article 33 of the REACH ordinance because articles were not regulated by the old chemicals legislation even if articles could have contained dangerous substances. According to Henkels investigations none of the substances of the current SVHC candidate list (13 Jan 2010) is part of Henkels articles.
In contrast to articles preparations are not subject to information obligations according Article 33. Preparations have been regulated already according the old chemicals legislation. That means dangerous substances like SVHC have had to be mentioned in the European Materials Safety data Sheets already prior to REACH. This is still the case today. The majority of Henkels products are preparations.
If preparations should contain substances of the ECHA candidate list they are mentioned in the MSDS. This may be the case for products/preparations which are exclusively designated for industrial applications. Therefore, all needed information concerning SVHC in Henkels products are already available to Henkels customers.
It goes without saying that Henkel will fulfill all legal obligations of information also under REACH in future. Further information about formulation components like CAS or EINECS numbers, and which exceeds the content of the Material Safety Data Sheets is not foreseen under REACH.
According to the information Henkel received so far and to Henkels own investigations the company assumes that the packaging of its products also do not contain any of the substances included in the candidate list in a concentration above 0.1 % weight by weight. Henkel will advise its customers immidiately if the company should receive contrary information.