Simplifying the complexity of REACH
Do Tetrachloroethane, Hydrogen hexafluoroarsenate and Aminobiphenyl xenylamine mean something to you? These and many more are substances restricted under the REACH legislation. Mix hard-core chemistry with complex legislation and you get REACH. So, if you want to know what REACH is and learn how STARCO works with it, keep reading.
What is REACH?
REACH is the European regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of CHemicals. It came into force on 1 June 2007 and replaced several European directives and regulations with a single system. The regulation is regularly updated, being the latest one in June2018.
What is the purpose of REACH?
REACH aims at ensuring a high level of protection for human health and the environment, including the promotion of alternative test methods, as well as the free circulation of substances on the internal market and the enhancement of competitiveness and innovation.
What can you expect from REACH compliant wheels or tyres?
In short, you can expect the wheel and tyre solutions to comply with the European standards for REACH-restricted chemicals – for instance, limiting the use of certain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) reduces the use of potentially harmful chemicals and therefore protects human and animal health as well as the environment.
How do we work with REACH at STARCO?
Since we produce and source articles that are sold in Europe, we work continually with REACH to ensure our products comply with the European standards.
Overall, STARCO keeps updated via several channels, such as our membership of the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation (ETRTO) and The Imported Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ITMA) via Kenda. We work closely with all suppliers to ensure all products that we supply are REACH compliant now and in the future.
Within REACH, tyres and wheels fall under the category “articles”, which means that the two most relevant areas that affect STARCO are PAH and SVHC:
- PAH (short for Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) refers to organic compounds containing two or more fused aromatic rings. Most PAHs in the environment are from incomplete burning of carbon-containing materials like oil, wood, garbage or coal, and can be found in coal, oil and gasoline.
- SVHC (short for Substances of very high concern). In total there are 191 of these substances (updated on 27 June 2018 by ECHA).
Are STARCO’s products REACH compliant?
Yes, everything manufactured by STARCO is REACH compliant. The same goes for our product range in general. We always insist on obtaining adequate documentation.
What should customers pay attention in regard to REACH?
The REACH regulations are as most rules and regulations quite complex. Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) need to be on top of REACH, when it comes to their own products, and they need to ensure that their suppliers are too.
The OEMs also need to be aware of country specific regulations and national recognised certifications marks of quality, such as the Kite mark in the UK, GS and TUV marks in Germany and the European CE mark. Some of these may apply more stringent or wider restrictions than REACH and may require specific, comprehensive and costly testing for the OEMs. As an OEM, you should know that a REACH compliant product does not necessarily meet all the requirements of voluntary certification mark of quality.
In general, OEMs should always pay special attention to articles imported into the European Union from countries outside the European Union.
Read more on this story about customers that are willing to pay a little extra for better quality and stronger compliance process of European legislation related to health and environmental protection.
Where can I learn more?
- If you would like to learn more about REACH, please go to europa.eu
- The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) maintains a website to enhance public access to information about its activities, and to fulfil its obligations under the legislative acts falling under its mandate. Here you can view a list of substances restricted under REACH.
- Read ETRMA’s article about REACH for rubber goods and tyresBullet 1
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