REACH – Probably the most complex piece of legislation on chemicals policy in Europe

Compliance with the REACH regulation

REACH has been in force since 2007 and is intended to ensure a high level of protection for human health and the environment. The REACh Regulation is intended to simultaneously ensure the free movement of chemicals in the internal market and promote competitiveness and innovation. REACH is based on the principle that manufacturers, importers and downstream users take responsibility for their chemicals. They must ensure that chemicals they manufacture and place on the market are used safely. The abbreviation “REACH” is derived from the English title of the regulation: Regulation concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. The REACH regulation is considered one of the strictest chemical laws in the world.

In this context, a large number of standard electroplating products came under the regulatory eye of the European Chemical Agency. First and foremost is the substance chromium trioxide, with its wide range of applications in countless areas of industry. For more information, please refer to ECHA’s “Substance Inforced Chromium Trioxide”.

REACH and chromium – chronology of events

2011 – Inclusion of chromium trioxide on the ECHA candidate list for authorization (Annex XV).

2013 – Inclusion of chromium trioxide is subject to approval by the EU (Annex XIV)

2017 – September 21 is the sunset date for chromium trioxide

This means that chromium plating with CrVI has been banned in the EU since that day. Processing of the substance is still possible with the appropriate authorization, which is called authorization in professional circles.

Securing the future

Baaske Oberflächenveredlung GmbH has participated in two authorization consortia. Since one authorization only runs until 2024 and another application has not yet been decided, we have written our own authorization application. The application will be submitted to the European Chemical Agency in fall 2023

This is a logical step for us and an investment in the future of this so versatile technology. Both for the continuation of our family business and for the applications of our customers, who have relied on solutions from our two companies for decades.

Vecco e.V. – mastering the challenges of REACH together

In order to still be able to realize the goals of REACh, we have been a member of Vecco e.V. for years. The association was founded in 2012 out of the industry with the purpose of securing the continued use and utilization of chromium trioxide and other chemicals in surface technology. This includes a commitment by companies to achieve the goals of REACH, research into possible alternative technologies, and making working conditions safer. Together, we are actively working to make Vecco e.V. a seal of quality for responsible and contemporary electroplating. Antonella Lo Bue has been an advisory board member of Vecco e.V. since 2012.

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