Launched in 2017, AskREACH is a European project which aims to support consumers and companies to apply the right to know about substances of very high concern (SVHC) contained in consumer products. The European REACH regulation on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals stipulates in Article 33.2 that suppliers are required to provide information on the presence of SVHC in products they place on the market to citizens or consumers who request such information within 45 days.
The list of substances of very high concern (SVHC), which is updated twice a year, is available on the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) website. This list includes most endocrine disruptors identified at European level. This is why one of the actions (action sheet B.3) of the National Action Plan on Endocrine Disruptors (NAPED) provides for the participation of Belgium in this European project.
Purpose of the AskREACH system
Our country joined the AskREACH project in 2023. Its main objective is to facilitate communication about information on substances of very high concern (SVHC) in products between suppliers of products and consumers. Belgian suppliers can now contribute to the project by encoding the presence of SVHC in the AskREACH system. These data are accessible to consumers via the Scan4Chem application. By supplier we mean any producer or importer of a product, any distributor or any other actor in the supply chain that places a product on the market. If this applies to you, you can consult information about your obligations and how to use the supplier interface.
The AskREACH project currently involves 16 European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Serbia, Luxembourg, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Greece, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and Poland. The German Environment Agency (UBA) is the project coordinator. Its objectives are to:
- make the industrial sector and distributors aware of their communication obligations under Article 33.2 of the REACH Regulation
- facilitate communication on SVHC between consumers and companies
- communicate information to consumers about the presence of SVHC in their products easily and clearly
- improve the protection of consumers' health by encouraging them to make responsible purchasing choices and thereby limiting their potential exposure to these substances
- limit the potential impact of these products on the environment, in particular by complying with the principles of the Zero pollution action plan and by promoting, with the help of safer alternatives, the transition to a European circular economy
- improve SVHC substitution in products by accelerating consumer demand for SVHC-free products and raising industry awareness