The purpose of REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) is to increase the knowledge about the risks associated with the use of chemicals and their potential effect on health and the environment. With the introduction of REACH, the burden of proof was shifted to industry, with very tight deadlines. The EU's new chemicals legislation also affects Nikkelverk.
Nikkelverk imports and produces products that are covered by REACH regulations, including nickel/copper matte from the smelter in Sudbury.
In practice, the REACH regulation requires that chemical manufactures undertake comprehensive registration of all chemicals produced and/or imported in quantities that exceed one mega-tonne per year. Registration requires toxicological, eco-toxicological, physical and chemical test data, as well as new and better safety data sheets and exposure scenarios that cover the entire life cycle of the substance. If registration is not adhered to by the deadline, the manufacturer is not allowed access to the market.