EU REACH Exempted Categories and Requirements for the Steel Industry

Question Posed:

Which products are covered by EU REACH and which are exempt from the regulation?

How does the REACH regulation apply to a steel-making company?

Answer Provided:

REACH applies to all products except:

  • Radioactive substances
  • Substances under customs supervision
  • Substances used in the interest of defence and covered by national exemptions
  • Waste
  • Non-isolated intermediates
  • Transported substances

Other substances and products are exempt from registration and sometimes authorisation, but are still within scope of REACH (i.e. scientific R&D, food, medical products, minimal risk substances, naturally occurring, etc.).

The Ruling states that "[a]rticles incorporated as components of a complex product must be notified to the European Chemicals Agency when they contain a substance of very high concern in a concentration above 0.1%."  

This is also known as Once An Article, Always An Article (OA5) indicating that as long as the product meets the definition of Article, the SVHC notification (REACH article 7) and communication (REACH article 33) rules for REACH must be applied.

Article definition: ‘an object which during production is given a special shape, surface or design which determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition’.

Suppliers need to understand what possible SVHCs could be contained in their product and communicate with the recipients of their product if one or more SVHC’s is found to exist in the product at a concentration of over 0.1% w/w at the article level.  If a supplier is not creating the specific shape using the steel, the part or product in question may not be defined as an article. However, their clients may request the substance composition for the steel because they are forming it into a specific shape and will need to provide the details to the next level of their supply chain.

Reference: https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/upload/docs/application/pdf/2015-09/cp150100en.pdf  

**Article contents valid as of 2017-03-16

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