ESA offers insights on EU's regulations on chemicals

REACH regulation and the space sector
10 September 2019

ESA is offering space and non-space based industry the opportunity to learn more about the EU’s evolving environmental legislation such as REACH, which limits the use of potentially harmful chemicals to safeguard the environment and Europe’s citizens.

On 16 October, ESA will hold a workshop at its Paris headquarters in France to discuss the implications of REACH for the space sector with special focus on activities for space transportation.

Authorities and companies across the European Union are required to abide by REACH regulations which control the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals. This is to promote the safe use of chemicals and the phasing out of substances that might pose health or environmental risks. 

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) that issues the REACH regulation for the European Commission will attend this event, which presents a good opportunity to ask them questions.

The workshop will address the challenges that environmental regulation and directives pose for the space industry and how best to comply with these laws for ongoing space activities within different sectors, and on future space programmes.

Representatives from ESA, national space agencies and European industry will present on the following topics:

  • The present status of REACH regulation and changes since the previous ESA workshop; 
  • REACH regulations that impact the space sector; 
  • How the space sector is adapting to increasing European regulation and the current challenges; 
  • How other sectors are managing this regulation in their specific domain; 
  • How REACH regulation will evolve; 
  • How the space sector is taking this opportunity for innovating in new technologies; 
  • How European industry is preparing for UK withdrawal from the European Union depending on scenarios, 
  • Future regulatory evolution towards less waste and reuse of resources through the Waste Framework Directive, and how this affects the sector, 
  • Other regulatory activities that affect the sector, such as the Conflict Minerals Regulation and RoHS2 which restricts the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment.

This workshop will also present the latest developments on promising alternatives used within the space industry, space agencies and research institutes.

An exchange of views will add to the debate on REACH management in each sector highlighting the differences and similarities. This year the workshop will host a non-space based company from the aeronautics industry for an exchange on their methods of REACH implementation in their sector.

Register for this free workshop by 14 October by visiting https://indico.esa.int/event/315/ or email: marie.christine.contino@esa.int

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