A key element of the European chemicals regulation “REACH” (EC 1907/2006), which regulates the manufacture, marketing, and use of potentially hazardous chemicals in the EU, is the communication in the supply chain in both directions – both from suppliers to customers and back up through the supply chain.

The main aim for doing so is the exchange of information regarding health and safety for humans and the environment. This information needs to be based on a safety assessment which requires that all relevant uses need to be collected from all levels in the supply chain and the results fed back into the chain.

A major challenge in the communication process is that REACH not only affects manufacturers and importers of the chemicals and preparations themselves, but also companies, such as retailers, who deal only with articles which may contain these substances.

The Complex Requirements within REACH

Contrary to some companies’ understanding, REACH encompasses various legal requirements, which may or may not be applicable to any company’s business. In this respect it is important to note that many of today’s consumer products are made from chemical-based rather than natural products. While the obligation for registering substances under REACH is aimed at preventing chemicals from being marketed throughout the EU, without taking account of their hazardous properties, chemicals present in the products we use on a daily basis, which are known to have hazardous properties are also targeted by REACH through information requirements in the supply chain, restrictions for certain uses, and through bans of using certain substances in everyday consumer products.

Many companies are overwhelmed both by the extensive regulatory issues covered by REACH and their applicability to their own business, as well in deciding and implementing individual steps to implement a strategic system to manage their regulatory obligations under REACH.

Support is Available

SGS can help you to understand how REACH applies to your company and what steps you need to take to manage REACH as part of your regular business compliance process. Let SGS help put you in control of your REACH obligations in an efficient and cost effective way. Our services range from consultancy and training, to practical hands on implementation of managing your REACH duties, including your communication throughout the supply chain, as well as due diligence and analytical testing when you need to be sure.

Dr. Anne Kleinkauf
REACH Consultant
t: +49 30 847 18 271


SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 67,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,250 offices and laboratories around the world.