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To which territories does REACH apply?

REACH is an European Community Regulation that directly applies in all 27 Member States of the European Union. As REACH is of EEA (European Economic Area) relevance, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway will apply REACH after it has been incorporated into the agreement of European Economic Area.

Substances imported in the Community from Switzerland (a non-EU country belonging to EFTA (European Free Trade Association) but not to EEA) are treated under REACH in the same way as substances imported from any other non-EU country (such as China).

Member States are best placed to explain how REACH applies to their territories (autonomic areas or overseas territories). You should contact the national helpdesk of the relevant country to clarify specific requirements.

Customs boundaries for Manufacture and Import:

Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are members of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA). The EFTA Convention established a free trade area among its Member States in 1960. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway entered into the Agreement with the EU on the European Economic Area (EEA) in 1992, which entered into force in 1994. Therefore, the EEA is composed of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and the 27 EU Member States.

REACH applies to EU Member States. Once incorporated into the EEA Agreement and implemented in the EEA-EFTA states, REACH will also apply to EFTA-EEA States, that is Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. This, for example, means that imports from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein will be considered as intra-Community trade for the purposes of REACH. After the incorporation of REACH into the EEA Agreement, the terms ‘EU’ or ‘Community’ used in this Guidance will also cover the EFTA-EEA States.

To this end, EFTA is preparing a proposal for an EEA Joint Committee Decision, incorporating the Regulation and establishing the conditions for the EEA EFTA participation in the European Chemicals Agency. EFTA is targeting to have the Regulation incorporated by 1 June 2008. Therefore, an importer of a substance from an EEA country will in future not be required to register the substance under REACH and will simply be regarded as a distributor or downstream user. However, his supplier established in an EEA EFTA-State will have to register the substance as a manufacturer under REACH and will be subject to the same obligations as all EU manufacturers.

A formulator purchasing his substances in UK or Iceland will be considered as a Downstream User.
A formulator purchasing his substances in Switzerland or China will be considered as an Importer.

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