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FAQ

What is the REACH Portal and information of what nature can be obtained?

The REACH Portal is meant to serve as an information tool. Its main purpose is to provide for basic transparency on national policies and procedures for granting exemptions from REACH obligations in the interest of defence. The data you will find on this web-page is provided by the EDA’s participating Member States and is supposed to give you an initial overview. However, this data is for information purposes only and is by no means of a legal nature. For authentic information, we recommend to refer to the respective links to national web-pages provided by participating Member States at the bottom of the country fiches.

How to use the REACH Portal?

The REACH Portal consists of a main page providing basic information on the EDA’s REACH defence exemptions initiative, including links to relevant further information and basic documents, and a number of country fiches for participating Member States to post their respective national policies and procedures. You can browse the latter country by country to obtain the information you are looking for. Using the respective links and contact data, you can proceed with your research for information with the respective country. In case you have additional questions on the EDA’s initiative or the REACH Portal itself, please feel free to contact us at reachportal@eda.europa.eu.

What kind of information can be obtained on the REACH Portal?

The REACH Portal offers you the unique opportunity to find, on a single portal, information of all EDA participating Member States and those EEA countries that have opted to participate in the EDA’s REACH initiative.

Participating Member States are requested to post on this portal a number of facts and figures about their national policies and procedures to grant defence-related exemptions from obligations deriving from REACH.

This information comprises the legal basis for granting exemptions, a description of the national procedure, a description of the national safeguard measures, a designation of national bodies involved and information on where to file an application.

In addition, participating Member States are invited to indicate their conditions/procedures for acknowledgment/recognition of foreign defence exemptions, the number of exemptions granted so far and some contact information including a web-link (if there is any).

It has to be noted, that the REACH Portal does not act as a provider of information on its own behalf but is supposed to be a platform for participating Member States to distribute respective information in a shortened and harmonised way. For full and authentic information, you would always have to refer to the respective national authorities.

 

 

 

What is meant by "legal basis"?

In this section, participating Member States are requested to indicate their national law(s) and/or regulation(s) that serve(s) as the basis for granting exemptions from REACH in the interest of defence.

Since the REACH Regulation is directly applicable in all participating Member States and in other EEA countries respectively, it normally requires a national act of an equivalent legal power to implement and execute the defence-related exemption provision of the REACH Regulation and thereby prevail over the sanctions foreseen by REACH.

These basic legal documents should also indicate the possible scope of an exemption and requirements that would have to be met to obtain it.

What kind of information can be obtained in the section "description of the national procedure"?

In this section, participating Member States are requested to depict the respective national procedure to be followed in order to reach a defence exemption decision. This information would normally comprise the national bodies and authorities involved, a description of the decision making process, the national body where an applicant would initially have to refer to and the one taking the final decision.

Participating Member States are also invited to indicate who can apply for a defence exemption and how the exemption decision would be transmitted.

What is meant by "national safeguard measures"?

One of the main goals of the REACH Regulation is creating highest safeguard and traceability standards for all chemicals used in Europe. As the EDA’s initiative is by no means meant to be a way to circumvent these standards but as a means to duely take into account specific defence and security concerns, the EDA participating Member States agreed to apply nationally safeguard and traceability measures that – in essence – mirror those imposed by REACH itself. Such measures could include the requirement of producing a Chemical Safety Report or a Chemical Safety Sheet.

As the actual implementation of this commitment is a sovereign national decision, the applicable measures may vary from country to country. In the respective section of the REACH Portal you can find information on the concrete safeguard measures of the particular country.

What is meant by "national bodies involved"?

The concrete design of the national procedures to grant defence-related exemptions from REACH obligations is a sovereign national decision. This is why these procedures may vary a lot throughout the participating Member States. In some countries the Ministry of Defence might be the solely responsible body for an exemption, in others a defence exemption would require a joint decision of two Ministries, let’s say Economics and Environment.

The respective information in this section should provide for more transparency on the process and also allow inferences on the duration of the procedure.

What information can be obtained at "Where to File an Application"?

This section is supposed to give you direct information on the national body responsible to accept a private entity’s request for exemption.

What is meant by "Conditions/Procedures for Acknowledgment/Recognition of Foreign Defence Exemptions"?

Granting of exemptions from REACH obligations is first and foremost a national responsibility. This obviously implies that each country, in principle, has to assess a request for exemption individually and separately. However, in an increasingly European defence equipment market with systems, components and products traveling across borders on a permanent basis, coordination of national approaches is needed.

Participating Member States are hence encouraged to acknowledge – as deemed nationally appropriate – other countries defence exemptions. The degree of acknowledgement might vary. One participating Member State might opt for full and automatic recognition of an alien defence exemption, whereas others would require a sperate national decision that only takes into account a foreign exemption decision.

In this section concrete information on the respective national attitude can be obtained.

How accurate is the "Number of Exemptions Granted"?

The whole REACH Portal is based on voluntary contributions from participating Member States. This implies that the information in this section – as in any other section of the portal – is subject to national scrutiny and input.

The figures presented here are supposed to provide an overview only and will not be updated on a daily basis. The date of the latest update can be seen at the bottom of the respective page.

What countries can be found on the REACH Portal?

The scope of application of REACH goes beyond the EDA’s participating Member States and Norway which participates in the EDA’s work on the basis of an Administrative Arrangement. Therefore the Steering Board Decision on Reach – National Defence Exemptions invites all other countries that have to apply REACH (basically all EEA countries) to implement the principles of this decision.

If they opt to do so they can contact the Agency to arrange for the respective administrative steps.

Why are not all country fiches filled?

The whole REACH Portal is based on voluntary contributions from participating Member States. This implies that the information in this section – as in any other section of the portal – is subject to national scrutiny and input.

In addition to that, the Steering Board Decision on REACH – National Defence Exemptions does not foresee any obligation for participating Member States to put in place a respective procedure. Though all participating Member States seem to consider introducing a national proceeding, not all of them have it yet in place. In some pMS the principle decision on whether or not introducing a procedure has not yet be taken.

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