Political Principles

Chemicals Regulation

Bayer is internationally active on product safety.

The safety and environmental compatibility of products are top priorities for Bayer. Legal requirements – and voluntary initiatives – are the cornerstones of modern chemicals management.

Since 2007 Bayer has been operating according to the European chemicals regulation called REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals). In 2010 the company registered (on schedule) 125 substances whose annual production or imports exceed 1,000 tonnes a year, or which are particularly dangerous. Bayer also expects its suppliers to confirm the REACH compliance of their products. Bayer is convinced that such regulations are important for protecting people’s health and the environment and organizes its actions accordingly.

In 2006 Bayer was one of the first companies to sign the Responsible Care Global Charter, which also involves a commitment to the Global Product Strategy (GPS). For example, the company has been successfully informing its customers and other interest groups via the website of "Product Safety First" since 2000.

Bayer cooperates with its competitors, for example to promote the exchange of data between companies. Among other things, this can raise efficiency and may even reduce the amount of animal testing mandatory in the REACH registration process.

In a similar way to REACH, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) in the USA also requires the registration of new chemicals.

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) came into force in 2009 in Europe – and in 2010 in China and several other countries. It regulates the uniform classification and labeling of chemicals. A Group-wide working group coordinates its implementation at Bayer. By November 30, 2010, the company had registered on schedule all substances marketed by Bayer in the EU and classified according to the GHS with the inventory of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Following this notification of more than 1,000 substances, the company will pass on information to the authority on all GHS-relevant mixtures by May 31, 2015.

Bayer’s Positions

Clear and Simple Regulation

Individual substances should not be regulated more than once by different sets of rules, since this means unnecessary costs and extra work for all concerned. New projects should therefore be cost-efficient and avoid regulatory duplication.

No Competitive Disadvantages Caused by Regulation

The EU-wide regulation of chemicals is important for health and safety. However, care should be taken to ensure that this does not lead to competitive disadvantages vis-à-vis companies from countries with less strict guidelines. The goal of improving the protection of people and the environment will be undermined if production migrates to countries with less strict regulation.

Balanced Risk Assessments

Research into the risk to humans and the environment of new technologies and materials is meaningful and important. In this context scientific approaches should be selected to realistically assess the potential risk. Taking a precautionary approach should not mean that the opportunities of new substances are completed neglected and only the potential risks are seen.

Last updated: July 31, 2015 Copyright © Bayer AG