The European Commission on March 5 marked the 10th anniversary since the adoption of REACH – the bloc’s key legislation on chemicals and call for actions to future its implementation.

The Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) has significantly enhanced the protection of human health and the environment and promoted alternatives to animal testing, according to Brussels.

The REACH review published on March 5 showed that EU companies and authorities are ensuring the safe use of chemicals and the phase-out of dangerous substances.

“REACH is the most advanced and comprehensive chemical legislation in the world, and many other jurisdictions have followed the EU’s lead in regulating chemicals,” said Internal Market and Industry Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska. “EU industry now makes chemicals safer for citizens and the environment. We need to build on this success and ensure that EU manufacturers do not face competitive disadvantages compared to non-EU manufacturers, notably by making sure that imported goods comply with EU rules on chemicals.”

Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella stressed that exposure to hazardous chemicals is a major concern among Europeans. “Through REACH, the EU is successfully addressing their concerns, generating knowledge about chemicals and banning harmful ones on the EU market. REACH is already inspiring chemical legislation in other countries and further improvements will allow us to protect our citizens’ health and the environment even better.”

In June, the Commission will hold a special conference to discuss the follow-up actions stemming from the REACH review with the European Parliament, EU member states and stakeholders.