REACH is a regulation of the European Union and stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals. Chemicals substances are everywhere in our society, from substances such as acetone used by painters to substances in mixtures, or as liquid cleaning products, and in consumer articles, for example plastic plates and clothes. European legislation – amongst which REACH - guarantees the safe production and use of these substances.


REACH focuses on the placing on the market and use of chemical substances, and the potential impacts on both human health and the environment of these substances. On behalf of the Ministries of Infrastructure and Water Management, of Health, Welfare and Sport, and of Social Affairs and Employment, RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment Bureau REACH supports and advices on this European legislation. The Netherlands’ REACH and CLP Helpdesk is also part of RIVM and helps especially small and medium-sized enterprises finding their way in the REACH and CLP regulations.


REACH registration

The registration obligation is a result of the European REACH regulation. The aim of REACH is to place chemical substances safely on the European market and thus to protect the health of people and the environment among other things. REACH describes what companies and governments have to comply with regarding dealing with chemical substances. Companies’ obligations depend on their role in the supply chain and the nature and use of the substances. Registration of chemical substances enables better regulations relating to substances.


Bureau REACH

Bureau REACH is delegated by the Netherlands’ government to deal with REACH related issues. Bureau REACH prepares, for instance, substance evaluation dossiers to request additional toxicological information for a substance, or prepares dossiers to identify a chemical as a substance of very high concern. Other tasks include proposing European harmonised classifications for certain substances. Furthermore, Bureau REACH assesses dossiers prepared by other Member States and by industry and members of Bureau REACH are involved in, for example, the Risk Assessment Committee, the Committee for Socio-economic Analysis, and the Member State Committee.


REACH Helpdeks

For questions related to the REACH and CLP regulation, national helpdesks have been established as first point of contact. RIVM houses the national REACH and CLP Helpdesk for the Netherlands. The Helpdesk helps companies with the interpretation of the REACH and CLP regulation, with the main focus on the small and medium-sized enterprises. Besides this, they are present at meetings and symposiums on chemical substances, and they are part of the advisory board on chemical substances.

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