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European ink manufacturers preparing for REACH legislation

July 4, 2013

The complex chemical mandate is forcing ink manufacturers to get onside early.reach

Ink World Magazine reported that the REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) legislation has been a “topic of great interest in Europe and globally” recently, with Focus on Europe seeing a talk hosted by INTEGRAL CEO Gunther Hagemann about the importance of adhering to the mandate.

REACH came into effect in Europe in June 2007 in an attempt to “regulat[e] and classify chemicals”, and manufacturers and importers are “responsible for providing safety information” to the EU in terms of the chemical make-up of their products, with ink and toner both included in this particular bracket.

The news outlet reports that a series of deadlines has been imposed up until 2018 for companies manufacturing chemicals of varying quantities. The first deadline saw quantities of substances from 1000 metric tonnes per annum (t/a), 100 metric t/a labelled as R50/53, and one metric tonne with CMR 1 or 2 properties needing to be registered by 1 December 2010, with companies that didn’t register prohibited from selling their products in the EU from that point.

The second deadline was 1 June this year, which saw substances from 100 to 1000 metric t/a needing to be registered, whilst the deadline in 2018 (also 1 June) will be for substances from 1 to under 100 metric t/as.

Ink World Magazine added that many printer ink manufacturers have “taken a proactive stance on the issue”, with Flint Group providing “all registration dossiers” for the 100 to 1,000 tonnes registration. The company noted the complexity of the process, stating that its registration documents amounted to 2,500 pages, with Ink World Magazine noting that “to say that REACH is complex is an understatement”.

Other European chemical manufacturers including BASF, Clariant, Wacker and Croda have all stated that they are registered, as well as US-based Dow Chemical, with the magazine noting that “for larger corporations and volumes, the cost of REACH can be spread out”.

However, there are growing concerns that the deadline in 2018 will “force companies to decide whether to go through the registration process for smaller batches of chemicals or simply withdraw these products from the marketplace”. Flint Group added in turn that it expects some raw materials to “disappear from the market” as a result.

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