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16 Envtl. L. Rev. 307 (2014)
The European Union Reach Regulation for Chemicals: Law and Practice, Edited by Lucas Bergkamp

handle is hein.journals/envirlr16 and id is 313 raw text is: THE EUROPEAN UNION
Edited by Lucas Bergkamp
Oxford University Press, 2013; i-ii and 436 pp; ISBN
978-0-19-965979-1; fl 45
Keywords: REACH, EU law, chemical regula-
tion and decision making, WTO, science and
the law, environmental law
The European Union REACH Regulation for
Chemicals is a cleverly thought through,
well structured and carefully drafted collec-
tion of essays. It comprehensively deals with
many of the key issues arising in connection
with Regulation (EC) 1907/2006 concerning
the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation
and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).' By
addressing - as it claims - both the 'law and
practice' of REACH, the book represents a valu-
able resource for academics and practitioners
alike. The variety of backgrounds of the con-
tributing authors is a notable enriching factor,
which makes the volume both readable and
entertaining for anyone interested in chemical
Why is the book useful for anyone approaching
REACH? On the one hand, it provides infor-
mation of a general nature and gives a good
high-level overview of the REACH scheme.
On the other hand, the book offers a concrete,
detailed and thorough illustration of how
REACH functions and of the actors involved
(for example, ECHA). These illustrations effec-
tively enable the reader to understand the
complex regulatory programmes put in place by
the Regulation. Moreover, besides the analysis
of the origins, basic structure and functioning
of REACH (which may be of general interest),
the essays delve into some practical technicali-
ties of the Regulation (an investigation mostly
useful for lawyers and regulatory specialists),
and explores the opportunities that REACH
may generate for businesses (thus taking in con-
sideration the interests of the industry sector).
The book also examines the significance of
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REACH in the context of the global dynamics of
normative production, and tentatively proposes
improvements that may be made to the Regula-
tion (in a fashion which will give many insights
to academics and policy makers).
The collection is divided into five sections. The
first discusses the law of REACH, including
the background of the Regulation, the organi-
sational and administrative structures against
which it operates, its key concepts and scope,
and a review of the REACH programmes and
procedures. The second focuses on the practice
of REACH, covering aspects such as strategic
decision making, REACH consortia, informa-
tion and data sharing, the relationship of REACH
with EU competition law, as well as compliance
and supply chain management. The third sec-
tion provides an overview of the legal remedies
and sanctions that may operate in connection
with REACH. Section four represents a journey
into the role of REACH within the mechanisms
of production of law at the global level, assess-
ing it under the lenses of international trade
law, and discussing the circulation and impact
of REACH on worldwide chemical regulation.
The concluding section proposes an interim
evaluation of REACH, appraising whether the
Regulation is achieving its objectives, how it
could be improved, and how it affects, and is
perceived by, industry.
Overall, this is an excellent contribution to the
current literature on this topic. The text pro-
vides a thorough analysis of the regulatory
programmes established by REACH. Although
such analysis is often general (and thus some-
times inevitably superficial), it nevertheless
raises interesting specific points and presents
unique case studies that help the reader grasp
essential aspects of the functioning of REACH.
Throughout the book, the authors address
aspects of REACH practice that are not - or
not fully - regulated (including a specific chap-
ter on REACH consortia), which represents
real added value. The book contains a sec-
tion of particularly notable interest (although
it could have been elaborated further) on the
use of science and experts in regulatory deci-
sion making, which identifies shortcomings
in the current model. Chapter 5 is dedicated
to the interactions between the requirements
imposed by REACH and the business strate-
gies of regulated companies and includes some
interesting case studies. The book explores the
links between REACH and other areas of the
law - such as IP, competition law, and tort law
- although in some cases it does so very briefly
and does not go beyond offering some 'hints'
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