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Impact of REACH predicted to be larger than RoHS

United Kingdom – Similar to the Toxic Substances Control Act in the United States, REACH is designed to streamline the existing legislative framework governing the production and import of chemical substances in the European union (EU). The REACH regulation is intended to create a single system to regulate new and existing chemical substances, and is expected to spur the phase-out of more dangerous chemicals in favor of safer substitutes.

Scheduled to come into force on June 1, 2007, REACH will reportedly replace a number of other laws in the EU and is expected to have a huge impact on the electronics industry, according to Gary Nevison at Farnell InOne, a leading marketer and distributor of electronic and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products. Nevison added that it will take up to 11 years to replace all the old directives with the REACH legislation.

Like the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, in order for US-based companies to export chemical substances into the EU, these companies will need to partner with an EU-based importer that will be responsible for complying with the REACH requirements. Non-REACH-compliant chemical substances will not be able to be marketed and/or imported in the EU after June 1, 2007. As such, some industry analysts predict that REACH will have even larger impact than the RoHS directive.

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