What is an EU REACH Only Representative?
Non-EU manufacturers or suppliers who would like to export products to the European Union (EU) must ensure that their products are fully compliant with the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006.
One of the obligations, which is set in Article 8 of the Regulation, is appointing a REACH Only Representative (OR) if companies don’t have a natural person or legal entity established physically in the EU. Finding a trusted and experienced OR service provider is important to ensure REACH compliance with the product and to avoid legal and financial troubles.
Selecting an Only Representative
Here are some practical tips for non-EU enterprises on choosing a qualified EU REACH Only Representative.
✔ EU legal status
Select an OR who is a natural person or legal entity established physically in the EU, as per the requirement set in Article 8 of the REACH Regulation.
✔ Experience and Expertise
Choose an OR service provider who possesses in-depth expertise in chemistry and years of experience in the REACH compliance process. The OR should have a deep understanding of and be well familiar with the REACH terms and conditions, its requirements, the whole registration process, and all post-registration works.
It is highly recommended to select providers who have been in the industry for a long time and have a proven track record of successfully representing non-EU suppliers in the REACH process.
✔ Qualifications and Accreditations
Make sure that the OR is qualified and accredited to provide the services. Do check if the OR has a team of competent specialists who possesses relevant background, expertise, and experience to handle all OR tasks.
✔ Communication and Language Skills
Effective communication is critical for successful cooperation and long-term partnership. Do consider OR candidates that are responsive, transparent, and capable of providing regular updates on the registration and other OR tasks.
It is efficient to work with an OR who is fluent in English and other relevant languages to avoid misunderstandings and communication barriers.
More crucially, to ensure the quality and compliance of REACH works, it is strongly recommended to select an OR who is competent enough to use precise REACH legal terms and scientific phrases.
✔ Service Portfolio, Pricing, and Contract
Go through the service details provided by the OR to make sure that they meet the project’s needs. It is better not to select providers that only offer a one-size-fits-all solution. Each project often has its unique characteristics and specific needs. Therefore, a wide range of services with tailored solutions would be preferred. A prospective OR should be the one who could provide an OR service contract with clear and lawful terms and conditions.
In addition, compare the pricing structure of different OR candidates and choose the one that brings good value for money.
✔ References and Reviews
Check the references and reviews of the OR from their previous and current clients. This practice would bring an idea of the reliability, competence, and professionalism of the OR. An OR with positive feedback and recommendations would be a prospective option to consider.
In short, selecting a competent EU REACH Only Representative is one of the critical steps for ensuring REACH compliance and avoiding legal and financial issues. Non-EU suppliers should therefore make an effort to ascertain that their future OR partner is competent and reliable.
It is recommended to cooperate with an OR having extensive experience and expertise, relevant qualifications and accreditations, excellent communication and language skills, a wide range of services with tailored solutions, and good value for money. Also, do check the references and reviews to learn about the reliability and professionalism of that OR.
Mistakes to avoid when looking for an EU REACH OR
× Considering an OR service based solely on price
Choosing an Only Representative with the cheapest offer might sound like a good idea at first glance, but it could cost more in the long run if that OR does not have the relevant and sufficient expertise.
It is advised to check the OR’s qualifications, experience, and references before making the decision based solely on price.
× Not verifying the OR’s background and experience
Not verifying the experience and competency in REACH compliance of the OR candidate could lead to low-quality REACH dossiers, errors and delays in the registration process, delays in acting with post-registration requests from the authority and consortium, or more severely, a violation of the REACH Regulation.
It is a good practice to always check the OR’s track record in successfully representing non-EU enterprises in REACH compliance.
× Overlooking the communication and language skills of the OR
Communication barriers due to language or cultural differences could cause misunderstandings, delays, or errors in the REACH compliance process. Working with an Only Representative who is excellent in language skills and proactive in communication would be a good move.
× Failing to check the provider’s references and reviews
Forgetting to verify the references and reviews of the OR candidates could end up with selecting a provider with a poor track record or reputation. Before making a decision, it is helpful to check feedback from the providers past and current clients.
× Not requiring a detailed offer and contract
An overly general offer can lead to misunderstandings about the scope of services, responsibilities, timeline, and pricing structure. Asking for a detailed offer and service contract is highly recommended.
× Neglect the OR’s range of services
Selecting an Only Representative who provides a limited range of services may result in a need to hire some other service providers to manage other tasks in the REACH compliance process. This would eventually cause additional costs, huge delays, and extra workload.
A good practice is to cooperate with an OR who has a wide range of services and can handle all your REACH compliance needs.
Avoiding these common issues would bring greater chances of having a high-quality Only Representative who is competent enough to effectively assist non-EU suppliers in achieving and maintaining REACH compliance status for their products.
More than a decade in the industry, Chementors has been actively representing companies established outside the EU. We are a qualified EU REACH Only Representative who meets all required and necessary criteria:
✔ An EU legal entity, based in Finland
✔ Substantial experience in Only Representative (OR) assignments.
✔ A trusted OR: Chementors is an approved member of the Only Representative Organization (ORO) and the REACHReady organization (London, UK)..
✔ A team of experts with relevant backgrounds and extensive REACH experience.
✔ Extensive experience (+20 years) in R&D and manufacturing in the chemical industry.
✔ A personal approach to clients’ challenges with fast response time.
✔ A complete package of services to handle every OR task and obligation.
✔ Providing every time a clear offer and transparent OR and REACH contracts.
✔ Highly fluent in English language and “REACH language”. We also speak other languages: Finnish, Swedish, French, German, Nepalese, and Vietnamese.
✔ Good reviews and testimonials from customers
We are here to assist you!
What is an EU REACH Only Representative service provider?
An EU REACH OR service provider is a natural person or legal entity who represents non-EU manufacturers and importers of chemicals, mixtures, or articles in fulfilling relevant obligations set in the REACH Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006.
Why should we, a non-EU supplier, need an EU REACH Only Representative?
Under REACH regulation, non-EU suppliers, who would like to sell their chemicals, mixtures, or articles in quantities of one tonne or more per year to the EU, are required to appoint an EU-based OR to handle all the REACH tasks and responsibilities of importers.
How do we find a good Only Representative?
To select a competent OR, it is advised to check the following factors:
- relevant qualifications and accreditations,
- in-depth experience in REACH compliance tasks,
- excellent communication and language skills,
- a wide range of services,
- good value for money,
- positive references and reviews from previous and current clients
Which services does an EU REACH Only Representative offer?
It is ideal in terms of management and timeline for non-EU suppliers if an Only Representative is qualified to offer a one-stop service to handle all REACH compliance tasks, which include:
- registration of substances
- testing arrangement
- REACH-IT account management
- following up on post-registration notifications
- communication with authorities, consortiums, and importers
- representation in legal and regulatory matters.
- preparation of safety data sheets
How much does it cost to hire an Only Representative?
The cost of OR service often varies depending on the scope of services, the complexity of the registration process, and the number of importers. It is important to compare the pricing structure of different OR candidates and select the one that offers good value for money.