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Welcome to the REACH portal!

Use the menu on your left to learn more about national policies and procedures on granting exemptions from REACH obligations in the interest of Defence.

 

REACH – NATIONAL EXEMPTIONS IN THE INTEREST OF DEFENCE

Starting back in early 2009, the European Defence Agency (EDA), at the request of its participating Member States, launched – in coordination with the European Commission – an initiative with respect to the European Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and its defence implications, specifically focusing on the area of national defence exemptions and their potential impact on the European Defence Equipment Market (EDEM).

REACH basically provides for a European system of registration of chemical substances. In the registration process, the chemical substance and its intended use have to be reported to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) by the producer or importer into the EU. Producers and importers also have to test the chemical substances and provide respective data to ECHA.

REACH, as a European Regulation, is directly applicable in Member States and hence applies to the defence sector as well. However, REACH in its Article 2, paragraph 3, states that “Member States may allow for exemptions from this Regulation in specific cases for certain substances, on their own, in a mixture or in an article, where necessary in the interests of defence”.

Granting such defence exemptions is first and foremost a national responsibility. However, REACH is clearly an area where a harmonised approach towards granting or denying of national defence exemptions would contribute to a level playing field for European defence industries, reducing their administrative burden and related costs and hence support the creation of an open and transparent EDEM and the maintenance and development of a capable and capability-driven European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB), providing Armed Forces with the right defence equipment to meet their operational requirements.

Accordingly, the EDA Steering Board Decision on REACH in March 2010 tasked the Agency to work with Member States in establishing harmonised standards for granting defence exemptions, emphasising in parallel the need for transparency about national policies and procedures.

As a result, the EDA’s REACH web-portal, allowing pMS to post basic information on their national procedures for granting defence exemptions, was established and is accessible to the public since 14 October 2010.

In March 2015, the EDA Code of Conduct (CoC) on REACH Defence Exemptions and associated technical Framework for Applying for a Defence Exemption from a Requirement of REACH, annexed to the CoC, were adopted by the EDA participating Member States.

Read more about EDA’s REACH initiative

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