Why be concerned?

Supplier progress

Potential impacts

Functional groups

Substance list

Legislation / REACH


Related Links

Wash with care

Environmental assessment of laundry detergents

Do you fall under REACH?

The new REACH Regulation affects a number of roles or players, namely:

· Manufacturers or importers of chemical substances or preparations (e.g. detergents)

· Formulators of preparations (=‘downstream users’)

· Professional users of chemical substances or preparations / products (= ‘downstream users’)

· Producers or importers of articles that contain chemical substances (e.g. textiles)

· Trading enterprises = ’distributors’

The table below helps you to identify your company’s roles.


On the Activities of enterprises page, you will find more information about the responsibilities connected to the different roles.

Notes to the table:

This table has been taken from the Danish EPA website -


* The REACH Regulation only covers articles which have an intended release of chemicals, or which have a substance content of very high concern, exceeding 0.1%.

A new European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has been established in Helsinki to handle registrations and other matters.

Find their website here.

Note about manufacturer:

According to REACH definitions, companies are only considered to be ‘manufacturers’ if they carry out the initial synthesis of the chemical substances.


Companies producing products by mixing and dissolving chemicals are normally considered ‘’downstream users’.

Examples from textile services:


Textile service companies will be importers and downstream users if, for example, they import specific chemicals for use from outside the EU.


They will be trading enterprises if, for example, they supply soaps and shampoos to hotels or hospitals without repacking or changing the formulation.


They will be professional users with respect to the use of detergents or substances for use.




Note about importers:

Importers are enterprises who import chemical substances, products or articles containing chemicals from outside the EU.


For substances already produced or registered in the EU, the importer only has the duties of a downstream user.

What does your company do in the chemical supply chain?

REACH role (may often be more than one)

Relevance to textile service companies

Produces single chemical substances


Generally not relevant to textile service companies

Produces chemical preparations (products)

Formulator (= downstream user) - perhaps also importer

Generally not relevant to textile service companies

Produces articles

Producer of articles, downstream user, importer or re-importer

Generally not relevant to textile service companies

Imports chemical substances


Generally not relevant to textile service companies

Imports chemical products


May be relevant to the import of detergents or hygiene products

Imports articles


Relevant to the import of textiles from outside the EU which have an  ‘intended release’ of chemicals*

Trades in single chemicals, mixtures or articles

Distributor, perhaps importer or downstream user

Relevant to products or articles supplied for facility management etc.

Uses chemical substances or products professionally

Professional user = downstream user

Relevant to the use of detergents and other chemicals during laundering and finishing