REACH is the European Union Regulation on Registry, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, applicable to chemical substances, preparations and articles that contain chemical substances. Because it is applied to articles, the regulation affects a wide range of products besides the ones of the chemical industries, such as: textiles, automotive products, electronics, wood products, amongst others.

The REACH aims to promote a high level of environment and human health protection. Thus, manufacturing and importation of chemical products are strictly regulated through: rules of registry of chemical substances; rules on evaluation of dossiers; rules on the granting of authorization for production or importation of some chemical substances considered hazardous or dangerous and rules restricting production and importation of some chemical substances.

The measures are applied to manufacturers within the European Union, importers and downstream users. The REACH also created the figure of "only representative", that may be pointed by the exporter as responsible for the obligations applicable to the importers. The appointment of a only representative exempts importers from their duties under the REACH and equates them to downstream users.

Even though the Brazilian exporter is not directly responsible for any obligation under the REACH, it is significantly affected by the regulation: the exporter must present a large amount of information and documentation about the product exported to the European Union so it can be duly registered by the importer or only representative. Furthermore, the exporter shall comply with the restrictions and requirements for the granting of authorizations imposed by the REACH for some substances in order to be able to export to the European market.

Finally, it is worth noticing that, as a general rule, the information provided for the registry of the product shall be disclosed to importers, downstream users, as well as to Member States and to the general public.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.