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What is REACH Compliance and How Does it Apply to the Finishing of My Product?

The European Union’s (“EU”) Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical Substances (“REACH” Regulation (EC) 1097/2006 Dec 18 2006) applies to a specific set of chemical substances, when they are a component of a product, or if the substance is intended to be released from an article under normal or reasonably foreseeable conditions of use.   In nearly all cases, the actual metal finish on a component falls under the article exemptions of REACH in the that the deposit is not intended to be released from the article under normal use.

What does that mean in simple terms?  The applied finish is generally an integral part of a product that is not released or separated from the product during normal use.  A simple example of a component that is intended to be released would be ink from a ballpoint pen.  It is part of the products normal function to release the ink from the pen itself.  Conversely, the nickel on a nickel plated fastener is not intended to be released from the article under normal use and as such falls under the article exemption.

Advanced Plating Technologies can provide additional guidance as it relates to REACH and can help companies fulfill their obligations to their suppliers with this regulation.  Contact our Sales Department with any additional questions regarding this recent EU directive.