Products – REACH registrations

Safety of chemicals improved


Has the safety of chemicals improved over the last ten years? A majority of Belgian (56%) think so, while about a third (30%) think products are as safe as before.

With these results, Belgium scores 10% better than the European average, according to research carried out for the European Commission*. The results show that the European REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) has contributed to safe and responsible use of chemical substances in the decade since it was launched.

REACH is a European regulation designed to protect people s and the environment from the potentials risks of chemicals. Since its entry into force in June 2007, Belgian companies have submitted 3,520 registration dossiers for 1,815 different substances, making Belgium one of the frontrunners in Europe and  underlining the strong presence of the chemicals sector in the country. In total, more than 60,0000 registration dossiers have been submitted in Europe for almost 16,000 different substances. (This safety data is freely accessible on the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) website.) Only 65 of these substances are restricted for some applications for safety reasons and the use of 43 substances is forbidden unless a specific authorisation has been granted to (temporarily) continue using them.

In 6% of registrations a Belgian company took the lead in gathering the information required and registering the data at the ECHA. One-third of Belgian registrations were done by an Only Representative (OR) for a non-European company, indicating that Belgian entities often take responsibility for registering substances for their non-European headquarters of affiliates – the second highest percentage after the UK, where 44% of registrations are done by an OR.

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