The biggest regulatory change for tape businesses occured in 2008 with the enforcement of the framework of REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals). This European Union (EU) regulation initiated a wave of global legislation which is still under formulation, evaluation, enforcement, and scrutiny.
Under REACH, the burden of proof for demonstrating the safe use of existing chemicals has been transferred from the EU member states to industry. REACH aims to ensure that risks to human health and the environment are avoided or adequately controlled. The legislation affects not only manufacturers and importers of substances, but producers and importers of preparations, downstream users of substances and preparations, and the producers and importers of articles. To each of these roles are attached different and often far-reaching obligations.
Registration is one obligation under REACH that compels those who produce or import chemicals and mixtures (and perhaps polymers in the future) in quantities of 1 tonne or more per year to register these substances with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Evaluation by ECHA of all registered chemicals started in 2012.
Because information on chemicals and formulations must be communicated up and down the entire supply chain, REACH affects the entire adhesive tape manufacturing industry. Companies which manufacture or import the chemicals which go into the production of adhesive tapes - thus in many cases both tape manufacturers and raw materials suppliers - either individually or in forums, must submit expensive dossiers to ECHA.
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