Key messages:  Data show that once risk management measures prescribed by the REACH Regulation are set up, Member States’ authorities monitor their implementation. They focus on how duty holders are complying with chemical safety communication down the supply chain, as well as with REACH restriction and authorisation. REACH compliance varied from 88% in 2007 to 78% in 2019, respectively. The range of reported compliance rates seems to slowly decrease

Level of compliance (%) with REACH duties in the EU, 2007-2019

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The indicator provides insight into the extent to which duty holders are compliant with REACH and its related duties in the EU. A duty holder is a person or an organisation with legal obligations to ensure health and safety in certain situations, such as in workplaces.   

Under REACH, duty holders are either importers, manufacturers, downstream users or distributors of substances. The specific duties and responsibilities of a duty holder may vary depending on the context and the REACH measures that apply. Data are reported by Member States and relate to enforcement activity under REACH.   

REACH compliance between 2007 and 2019 varied between 88% and 78%, respectively. In the last reporting period, some countries reported high levels of non-compliance. This may be seen as a negative signal towards the policy objective of stepping up risk management measures for hazardous chemicals on the EU market.  

Observing decreasing compliance may have to do with better targeted controls; for instance, enforcement authorities may have become more effective at finding non-compliant substances, products and companies.  Another explanation may be that more non-compliant substances and products are being sold in the EU market. With the data gathered, it is not possible to know which of the two reasons is more relevant. The relevance of these root causes strongly depends on the number of controls, coverage and quality of data gathered.  

The aggregated data for the whole reporting period suggest that most controlled REACH requirements relate to information in the supply chain and restriction. It seems that the focus is on ensuring that information is communicated along the supply chain, particularly on risk management measures; and that duty holders comply with EU regulatory risk management measures implemented via REACH restrictions and authorisations. 

Please consult the relevant indicators and signals below for a more comprehensive overview on the topic.

Data on the number of controls and number of non- compliant cases are provided by the countries in their report to the Commission every five years. The indicator is calculated as the median of the values of compliance reported by all countries each year. The data required include the number of official REACH controls which resulted in ‘no areas of infringements found’ in the EU in a specific period, and the total number of official REACH controls in the EU in a specific period. The compliance values (percentages of cases of compliance out of the total controls) are calculated for every country and every reporting year, and the median value of compliance across the countries is used. Compliance distribution is shown by drawing the 75th and 25th percentiles (yellow area) as well as the maximum (+) and minimum (-) ratio of compliance reported. A value of 100 means that all controls have been found compliant and a value of zero means that all controls are found non-compliant. 

Data source: REACH and CLP enforcement.

References and footnotes

  1. EU, 2006, Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), establishing a European Chemicals Agency, amending Directive 1999/45/EC and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 793/93 and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1488/94 as well as Council Directive 76/769/EEC and Commission Directives 91/155/EEC, 93/67/EEC, 93/105/EC and 2000/21/EC (OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p. 1–849).
  2. EC, 2021, REACH and CLP enforcement: EU level enforcement indicators, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg (
  3. EC, 2015, Study on development of enforcement indicators for REACH and CLP: final report, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg (
  4. EC, 2018, REACH and CLP enforcement - Summary of available information from Member States and through public consultation on enforcement, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg (
  5. EC, 2020, Technical assistance to review the existing Member States reporting questionnaire under articles 117(1) of REACH and 46(2) of CLP, Directorate-General for the Environment, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg (