The liability in sourcing falls directly on the importer of record. That is to say, once a product has left Asia, the responsibility for the safety of these goods is no longer the factory’s; it falls into the hands of the importer. If a product is deemed defective, unsafe, or does not comply with regulations, the importer is at fault. One important regulation that an importer must be aware of is the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals) Regulation, enacted by the European Union in 2007.
What exactly is the REACH regulation? This regulation targets the use of chemicals in the supply chain, in order to protect both the environment and public health. Before their products can be sold on the European market, manufacturers must gather information about the use of chemical substances in their products and register them with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Before this regulation, many products on the market contained a large number of substances that may be hazardous to the environment and the health of individuals. Now, importers must show proof that their products do not pose health threats in sell their products.
How can you make sure that your products meet REACH regulations? These regulations can be complicated, and new requirements are slowly being phased in, so we recommend employing the help of a professional laboratory. Many labs have extensive knowledge of various international regulations including REACH, and can help you make sure that all the chemicals in your products meet regulations. As each product is different, an accredited laboratory will work with you in order to make sure all of the proper tests are conducted, so your products comply to REACH regulations.
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