Companies that are not fully up to date on the Reach (registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals) regulations risk prosecution, according to the EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.
It is therefore urging UK manufacturers to “get to grips with the requirements of a European directive on the restriction or banning of certain hazardous substances” or face the prospect of unlimited fines or even prison if they fail to comply.
“Reach continues to be the ‘elephant in the room’ for many companies who are either unaware of the implications or, still believe it is a chemicals only issue,” said the EEF’s head of climate and environment policy, Gareth Stace.
“In contrast the regulations have serious requirements for all manufacturers who are facing either the restricted use or banning altogether of some substances.
“For many companies there is the very real risk of lost business if they are unable to advise their suppliers whether their products contain certain materials and, where they are, how their use is being monitored. Furthermore, if companies don’t plan for substance bans, it could prevent production entirely.”
To help companies, EEF is offering an advisory service on the implications of the Reach regulations, as well as a programme of seminars.