REACH and Military/Defense Suppliers


What are the REACH Regulation requirements for companies supplying military products with SVHCs as a component?


The EU REACH Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 pertains to the identification of SVHCs, which could then be further controlled via permits, authorized for specific use cases only, or otherwise restricted outright. According to Article 2 (3) of the regulation: “Member States may allow for exemptions from this Regulation in specific cases for certain substances, on their own, in a mixture or in an article, where necessary in the interests of defence.”

This exemption was widely used in the early days of the regulation, as defense suppliers encountered supply chain continuity issues when SVHCs in their products became further regulated. At this point, however, European Union national defense authorities may argue that defense suppliers need to show the same level of reasoning and due diligence as those obtaining an EU REACH Authorisation. No supplier can assume that producing a part at a military spec level will guarantee an exemption. To receive such an exemption, the supplier must contact the relevant defense authority and present documentation to validate the exemption.

Each authority has unique procedures and processing, although steps have been taken to harmonize the process via the European Defence Agency.

Article current as of 2019-09-27.

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