REACH: SVHCs and Free Samples

Question: Is there a way to determine whether free-issue materials, such as samples, contain substances of very high concern (SVHCs) under the European Union (EU) Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation?

Answer: If you receive a free sample of a product or material, you may not be able to easily tell whether it is REACH compliant. However, if you decide to use the sample in a product you manufacture, you can request compliance information. 

The Article 33 communication requirement for REACH SVHCs applies to all substances, mixtures, and articles placed on the market. This calls for communication to downstream users on the safe use of a product/substance if it contains one or more SVHCs above the 0.1% weight by weight (w/w) threshold at the article level. The communication must provide enough information to downstream users to allow the article to be used safely; at a minimum, this must include the name of the substance in question.

Article 3(12) of REACH defines "placing on the market" as supplying or making available, whether in return for payment or free of charge, to a third party. Importation is also considered "placing on the market." If the material given to you free of charge contains an SVHC over threshold, this information must be communicated to you.

For more information, see ECHA's Guidance on requirements for substances in articles.

Article is current as of May 2018.

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