Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

REACH and storing chemicals

REACH and storing chemicals

The REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals) requirements affect businesses that manufacture, import, distribute, sell, store or use chemical substances, preparations or articles.

Using chemicals

REACH will probably not affect you if you use common chemical products for their intended purposes, eg paints, glues, cleaning materials and solvents.

If you use a chemical in a way that may not be expected, you should contact your supplier. They will need to consider registering the chemical's use. If you do not want your supplier to know what you are using a chemical for (eg if you are using it in a new or innovative way) you must let the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) know about the use.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has produced guidance on what users of chemicals must do.

HSE: What REACH means for users of chemicals (PDF 64K)

It is a good idea to produce an inventory of all the chemicals you use and store on your site, and the quantities that you have. The HSE has produced guidance on how to create a chemical inventory.

HSE: Creating an inventory for downstream users (PDF, 97K)

Information about chemicals

REACH makes sure that chemical users receive information about how to store, use and dispose of chemicals.

You may receive a safety data sheet (SDS) with some of the chemicals you use. If you receive a chemical without an SDS, contact your supplier to find out whether or not they have to provide one.

You should follow the instructions on the SDS to ensure you use your chemicals safely.

Registering chemicals

If you manufacture chemicals or import chemicals from outside the European Union, you must register them with the ECHA. You will also need to provide information about how to use, store and handle chemicals safely.

REACH Regulations

Further information

HSE: REACH bitesize advice

HSENI: REACH information

HSE: REACH information

European Chemicals Agency: REACH information

In this Guideline

REACH and storing chemicals

Storage, handling and delivery of chemicals

Bulk chemical storage - tanks and drums

Secondary containment systems for chemicals

Small-scale chemical storage - Cabinets, shelves and vehicles

Chemical labelling and information

Avoiding and dealing with chemical spills

Temperature controlled chemical storage

Waste chemicals and chemical containers

Chemical storage environmental legislation

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