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15th EDA REACH Plenary Meeting discusses potential impacts on the defence sector

5 minutes

The European Defence Agency (EDA)  hosted experts from the Ministries of Defence of participating Member States for in-depth discussion on the latest developments of REACH with representatives from the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency, the European Space Agency, the Aerospace, Security and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD), as well as national defence industry associations and individual EU defence companies.

The European Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), along with other relevant EU regulations on chemicals and waste regulations, holds significant implications for the defence sector. In line with the current regulatory agenda at EU level, and given the impacts foreseen on the operational capabilities of participating Member States’ Armed Forces and the competitiveness and innovation of the EU defence industry, the main topics of discussion at this year’s plenary meeting were the REACH revision, the use of Chromium VI substances under REACH after the annulment of the CTACSub authorisation decision, and the REACH restriction proposals for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

With the participation of more than 60 experts, this annual event proved again this year to be a great opportunity for the EU defence community to build a common understanding of recent REACH developments in order to ensure that the objectives of this EU regulation are met, and to identify coordinated actions and best practices for the future. At the same time, the insights gained from this open debate will enable EDA, in its role of interfacing with EU defence stakeholders on wider EU policies, to provide the European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency with the relevant messages and proposals to mitigate the impacts for the defence sector.

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EDA has been addressing REACH and its defence implications since 2009. The Agency’s work in this field is currently guided by the EDA REACH Roadmap 2021-2023 which was adopted by Member States in 2021 and contains a comprehensive list of activities. In addition to REACH, this roadmap also covers activities related to other related EU chemicals and waste regulations on the basis of the outcome of 2021 EDA study.

EDA closely engages with and regularly invites key stakeholders to EDA REACH meetings, such as the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency, the European Space Agency and EU defence industry (under the overarching comprehensive EDA approach on industry engagement), in order to facilitate closer and more transparent interaction on defence-related REACH issues, which is seen as an important success factor for EDA’s work in this field.

More information

EDA REACH Activities