To further harmonise national practices, a voluntary Code of Conduct (CoC) on REACH Defence Exemptions was adopted last month by EDA Member States, as well as an associated technical Framework for Applying for a Defence Exemption from a Requirement of REACH. The Code of Conduct is now open for subscription to EDA participating Member States as well as third states having an Administrative Arrangement with the Agency.
The REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulation was adopted by the European Union in 2006 to improve the protection of human health and the environment from the risks that can be posed by chemicals, while enhancing the competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry. The Code of Conduct on REACH defence exemptions adopted last month sets as a common goal that Member States will fully support the objectives of REACH and provide for the highest safety and traceability standards possible when granting REACH defence exemptions.
In parallel, Member States agree to establish on a voluntary basis suitable measures to acknowledge other Member States' exemption decisions in accordance with national law, as well as to make information on national procedures publicly available. The technical Framework aims to standardise, as far as reasonably practicable, national defence exemption procedures and provide an agreed set of minimum standards in order to guarantee a safety equivalent with the REACH requirements.
A harmonised approach towards national REACH defence exemptions will level the playing field for European defence industries by reducing their administrative burden and related costs. It will support the creation of an open and transparent European Defence Equipment Market and a capable European Defence Technological and Industrial Base, providing Armed Forces with the right defence equipment to meet their operational requirements.