Reach Registration

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REACH enforcement, offences and penalties

The enforcement of the REACH and CLP legislation is a national responsibility. Each EEA Member State must ensure that there is an official system of controls and lay down legislation specifying penalties for non-compliance with the provisions of REACH.

Types of offences

Different approaches towards REACH enforcement

Reference links


Types of offences

Generally, the behaviours that may constitute offences or that may lead to an enforcement reaction can be acts or omissions of either a substantial or of a more technical nature; the latter will be the main types of offences applicable to REACH. Offences of a technical nature can be divided into different types of offences:

  • registration and evaluation (The absence of registration or pre-registration when applicable will be considered as serious breaches of legislation)

  • authorisation and restrictions (The offences will range from the absence of authorisation, to the failure to comply with the conditions attached to the authorisation. Behind these types of offences is also to ensure that endangerment of health and/or the environment have or will not occur)
  • Document-related infringement (It includes cases where persons hide or alter documentation that has to be provided to the administration. Falsification, alteration or hiding of documents is often considered as a crime, as well as the refusal to communicate information (SDS) or provision of false information to the other actors in the chain)

  • Obstruction to controls and inspections carried out by authorities (It will be considered as an offence since operators and citizens in general have the obligation to collaborate with the administration)


Different approaches towards REACH enforcement

In general, the Member States under study have included fines in their penalty systems, as a continuation of their existing systems. Other types of penalties include injunctions (including market withdrawal), prison sentences, and name-and-shame methods where non-compliance is made public.

The main differences in the approaches towards REACH enforcement are:

  • Penalties may be administrative (the main type of sanction is economic, through fines and deposits) and / or criminal  (three main types of measures - pecuniary, deprivation of rights and prohibitions and orders)

  • Part of the countries have provided sanctions for specific offences corresponding to REACH provisions, others have adopted a “catch-all” provision, which provides for enforcement for the violation of REACH obligations in general. Others have combined the two approaches.

  • Penalties may vary depending on whether they apply to legal or natural persons.


Reference links

Information about types and levels of offences and penalties in EEA countries

Links to national REACH inspectorates


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