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Cover Story Part 1: Are You Ready For REACH?

By Samuel Boxerman, Christopher Bell and Kristina Nordlander Sidley Austin LLP |

  This is an important year for any company that makes, uses, buys or sells chemicals or products containing chemicals. On June 1, 2007, the European Union’s (EU) Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances (REACH) came into force. Implementation of REACH begins in earnest in 2008. Widely viewed as one of the most important pieces of EU legislation in 20 years, REACH will bring about sweeping changes in the way products are regulated in the EU and its impact will extend throughout the global supply chain. This article, together with Part 2, gives the reader an introduction to REACH and its implications for business. Communications about REACH compliance already abound throughout the global supply chain. Companies that prepare carefully now will be well positioned to protect their markets and products in the years ahead. REACH affects the availability of chemicals and increases the scrutiny of products containing chemicals throughout the world. Further, REACH will significantly increase the amount of environmental and health data about chemicals and products containing chemicals that must be generated, provided to regulators and made available to the public, all of which may…
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