The new legislation addresses manufacturers, distributors, importers and downstream users.
Manufacturers produce substances. Importers import substances from non-EU countries, and downstream users make industrial or professional use of chemicals. Distributors only store or place a substance on the market. Some of them mix chemicals to make preparations (such as ink), others use substances or preparations to make articles (such as ballpoint pens, chairs or cars), or use them in their business (such as CD-manufacturers who use degreasing agents to clean their machines).
The vast majority of the REACH requirements apply directly to manufactures and importers of substances. They will supply data on the properties of their chemicals, develop chemical safety assessments and implement risk management measures.
Downstream users will be supplied with safety information about the chemicals they purchase and should follow them when handling the chemicals. They will also need to make sure that their customers (e.g. other industries and consumers) have all the information necessary to use their products safely. When a chemical is to be used in a way not covered by the original registration, the new uses or risk reduction measures will have to be reported to the Agency if the volume is higher than 1 tonne. Distributors must also ensure safety information is provided with the substances they sell.
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