Planning to sell products in the European Union? If so, REACH compliance is almost certainly required. In this guide, we list some product categories covered by the REACH regulation in the European Union.
What is REACH?
Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) restricts chemicals and heavy metals in all consumer products sold in the European Union. For example, products containing lead and cadmium above the set limits are illegal to import and sell in the EU. Further, additional substances are added to the SVHCs list on a yearly basis.
Clothing & Textiles
Clothing & textiles products are regulated by REACH in the EU market, in order to reduce harms from long exposure and contact with skin caused by substances that are considered dangerous for consumers, which include heavy metals and other carcinogenic, mutagenic or reproductive toxicants that can be commonly found in textiles products.
For example, formaldehyde is commonly used for increasing stain resistance in textiles, and azo dyes are often used to provide clearer and strong colors on textiles.
In addition, more REACH restricted chemicals might apply to clothe and textile products. You can find more regulated substances in the list of SVHC (Substances of High Concern).
- Polyester clothing
- Nylon clothing
- Acrylic clothing
- Rayon clothing
- Wool woven products
- Knitwear products
Bags & Luggage
Bags and luggage made from materials such as polyester, aluminum, polycarbonate, and leather, and other materials are covered under the REACH as certain harmful substances might be used used in the process of manufacturing.
REACH regulated additives and colorants that might apply during the manufacturing process to improve the product’s performance and durability. For example, heavy metals (e.g lead and cadmium) might be used in handgrips, and chlorinated paraffin is commonly used in leather products.
- Leather bags and luggage
- Tote bags
- School bags
- Hardcase luggage
- Softcase luggage
- Wheeled luggage
Gold, platinum, palladium, titanium, silver and stainless steel are commonly used in different types of jewelry such as necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
While the above-mentioned metals are outside the scope of REACH according to the SVHC list, hazardous substances are often added in jewelry and accessories products, to improve their appearance and durability. As such, jewelry will also need to comply with REACH in order to assess the presence of potential substances found in jewelry, such as nickel and chromium VI.
REACH regulates the amount of lead and other heavy metals such as nickel and mercury, which are commonly used as conductive wire in electronics products. Heavy metals can also be easily found in batteries, solder, coating, and other metallic parts. Additionally, nearly all electronics contain a certain amount of lead. Further, REACH also restricts chemicals that may be found in plastic casings used in the electronics industry.
Therefore, electronics products such as computer laptops, televisions, remote controls and mobile phones fall under the scope of the REACH regulation.
- Mobile phones
- Smoke alarms
- Remote controls
- Computers monitors
- Keyboards and mouses
REACH applies to the furniture placed in the EU market, such as wooden furniture, leather furniture, metal furniture, and plastic furniture. During the manufacturing process, furniture products might release certain types of restricted pollutants and contain certain heavy metals in additives and coating.
For example, lead and cadmium can be found in the decoration of bed frames and headboards; phthalates used as plasticizers in plastic furniture to increase flexibility, and methoxy acetic acid are often used as stabilizer reagents.
- Wooden furniture
- Leather furniture
- Metal furniture
- Plastic furniture
- Glass furniture
Certain hazardous substances (e.g heavy metals, additive, and colorant) are commonly used in kitchen products such as wooden bowls, plastic cutting boards, and nylon kitchen utensils.
As kitchen products can potentially release hazardous substances to food, REACH set migration limits to the levels of chemicals, heavy metals and pollutants.
- Wooden spoons
- Wooden spatulas
- Wooden cutting boards
- Silicone kitchen utensil
- Nylon kitchen utensil
- PTFE non-stick cookware
Pet products such as pet toys, pet leashes, and pet bowls, might contain a certain amount of heavy metals and other substances that are regulated under the REACH regulation. For example, heavy metals might be added during the manufacturing process of pet bowls.
Further, REACH regulates the colorants and additive added in pet toys, pet leashes, and other pet products, in order to reduce potential harm for pets. Note, however, that pet food and foodstuff additives are excluded by REACH, as they are covered by other specific legislations.
- Pet toys
- Pet clippers
- Pet scissors
- Pet leashes
- Pet collars
- Pet bowls
REACH also applies to sports accessories such as basketballs, badminton rackets, baseballs, and volleyball. For example, lead and mercury might be added during the manufacturing process of sports balls.
REACH restricted chemical substances can be easily found in many sports accessories. For example, the colorant used in shuttlecock, and additive added on the coating of pneumatic mattresses.
- Yoga mats
- Diving suits
- Pneumatic mattresses
Stationery accessories such as pencils, erasers, and staples are also regulated by REACH, in order to reduce harms and long exposure to hazardous substances.
Further, heavy metals such as lead and mercury can be found in stationery accessories such as staples and pencils; this is especially important as the ink might enter in contact with human skin. In order to reduce hazardous releases to the users, your products shall comply with REACH and ensure that no excessive amount of hazardous substances present in the products.
- Paper shredders