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REACH- Its Impact on Textile Industry

Submitted by : By TE Online on January 8, 2009 11:41 AM

SVHC.jpgREACH- “Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restrictions of Chemicals” is the comprehensive new legislation which is going to influence all the produced and imported chemicals in the European Union (EU). The textile industry, which uses textile chemicals in a substantial way, will also get affected by it. With the pre- registration period ending in December 2008, it seems to be the right time to evaluate its impact on the global textile industry.

Pre- Registration and Registration under REACH

REACH was adopted by the EU in December 2006 and was enforced in June 2007. It intends to make the textile chemical manufacturers and importers responsible for registering chemicals manufactured or imported into EU Member States in volumes greater than 1 tonne per manufacturer/importer per year. To manage and carry out technical, scientific and administrative aspects of REACH, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has been established in Helsinki, Finland. ECHA became operational in June 2008, the period when the pre-registration of chemicals within REACH started.


chemical.jpgThe pre-registration process that extended from June 1, 2008 to December 1, 2008, required submission of a limited amount of information from the chemical manufacturers and importers, such as contact details and estimated tonnage band.

Registration deadlines have been set according to volume and hazard of chemicals. Chemicals that are imported or manufactured in volumes greater than 1,000 tonnes or more per year and substances of very high concern such as: mutagens, carcinogens and reproductive toxins (CMR substances) will be the first to be registered with its deadline of December, 2010. The second phase of registration with its deadline of June 2013 is for chemicals that are in the volume bracket of 100-1000 tonnes per year. Chemicals placed on the market in volumes greater than 1 tonne per year will need to be registered by June 2018. If a chemical manufacturer or importer fails to register a chemical with ECHA, it will be unlawful for him to manufacture or import a chemical into the European Union.

Obligations of Textile Industry under REACH

tex-chemicals.jpgThe impact of REACH on a textile company is dependent upon the following facts:

Positioning of the company in the supply chain.

ts sourcing destinations.
ocation of production process- whether based in EU or outside EU

In general, import and manufacturing of textile and other textile products, will have certain obligations under the following two conditions:

A chemical is intended or foreseeable to be released from the textile product for example, it may release some fragrance, then it has to be registered with ECHA.

A textile product contains “substance of very high concern” ( SVHC). SVHC include CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic, reprotoxic); vPvB (very persistent, very bioaccumulative); PBT (persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic); Endocrine disruptor (influencing the hormonal system). If the textile product contain any SVHC in concentration above 0.1% of the total weight of the product and if thier total annual volume in all products is above 1 ton per year , then textile producers will have to notify to ECHA about the SVHC

However, if both of the conditions doesn't apply then there is no obligations under REACH for the manufacturer or importer of textile or textile products.

Registration Obligations for Chemicals As Per Sourcing Destination

chemical1.jpgIn case of chemicals sourced from outside EU, the companies will have to register all substances that are imported and used in the production process including textile pigment and even all chemicals used for producing filaments.

In case EU textile producer buys textile chemicals from EU based supplier then the obligations under REACH are rather limited. Here, the EU producer of chemicals will have the legal obligation to register the substance. However, pro-active attitude of the textile producer is also required. As a downstream user, the textile manufacturer will need to make sure that the chemicals purchased are registered for its specific use.

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