If you are importing a substance at just above the 1 tonne per annum limit, you may be thinking about whether to register for REACH in 2018,  or whether you should reduce your import quantity to avoid REACH.  The first scenario can be very expensive on a cost per kilo basis; and the second scenario could see you having to stop supplying some of your customers.

There is another option, which is to have another company import the same substance (or mixture containing the substance) and then sell it to you, and as long as both companies import less than 1 tonne per annum of the substance concerned, there is no REACH liability.  This is because you are an importer for the material you bring in yourself; and a downstream user for the material you buy from the other company.

This scenario has been checked with the HSE in the UK, who consider that it is legal, but if you are in another EU country we recommend that you check with your own Competent Authority as well.

An importer in the UK, who has found themselves in this situation, has set up a free to use, not-for-profit “matchmaking” service for importers looking for help, and you can sign up for the service at https://www.reachout.direct/ .

TT Environmental, 21/3/2017.