Operators and obligations

Your responsibilities and obligations depend on your role in the supply chain. The descriptions of operators presented below will help you identify your role. 

Note that you may have more than one role.

  • You are a manufacturer if you manufacture a substance in the EU.
  • You are an importer if you import a substance or mixture into the EU.
  • You are a producer of an article if you manufacture or assemble an article in the EU.
  • You are an importer of an article if you import an article into the EU.
  • You are a downstream user if you use a substance either on its own or in a mixture in your industrial or professional activities (e.g. a paint manufacturer and painter are examples of downstream users). You are also a downstream user if you re-import a substance exported outside the EU and registered in your supply chain either on its own or in a preparation into the EU, i.e. you are a re-importer. Furthermore, you are a downstream user when a manufacturer established outside the EU has appointed an only representative in the EU who is responsible for the importer’s obligations. A re-packager who transfers substances or mixtures from one packaging into another is a downstream user.
  • You are a distributor if you only store and sell substances or mixtures. Parties who rename and relabel substances or mixtures are distributors.

A substance means a chemical element and its compounds in the natural state or obtained by any manufacturing process, including any additive necessary to preserve its stability and any impurity deriving from the process used, but excluding any solvent which may be separated without affecting the stability of the substance or changing its composition.

A mixture means a mixture or solution composed of two or more substances.

An article means an object which during production is given a special shape, surface or design which determines its function to a greater degree than does its chemical composition.

OBLIGATIONS OF THE REACH AND CLP REGULATIONS PER ROLE

Obligations of the REACH and CLP regulations in a table

Obligations Manufacturer Importer Producer or importer of an article Downstream user Distributor
CLP: Classification of substances and mixtures x x x
(substances, explosive articles)
x -
CLP: Labelling and packaging x x x
(explosive articles)
x x
CLP: Substance classification and labelling notification x x - - -
CLP: Notification of a mixture to poison centres - x - x -
REACH: Substance registration x x x
(intended release of substances)
- -
REACH: Applying for an authorisation for the use of a substance x x x
(producers)
x -
REACH: Notification of the use of a substance subject to authorisation - - x
(producers)
x -
REACH: Compliance with bans and restristions x x x x x
REACH: Preparing a safety data sheet x x - x -
REACH: Providing a safety data sheet x x - x x
REACH: A downstream user chemical safety report and a notification of preparing the report or being exempted from the report - - x
(producers)
x -
REACH: Submitting a notification of an SVHC contained by an article to the ECHA - - x - -
REACH: Notifying customers of an SVHC contained by an article - - - - x
WFD (Waste Framework Directive): SCIP notification of an article containing an SVHC - - - - x
Data retention period of ten years x x x x x

X: an operator’s obligation

-: no obligation