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b) Scope

Article 56 (3) of REACH exempts from the authorisation requirement the use of a substance in scientific research and development (SRD). Does this exemption also cover the life-cycle steps (such as formulation) preceding the end-use in SRD?
Yes, the uses of a substance upstream preceding an exempted end-use in SRD are also exempted in quantities of the substance ending up in SRD (i.e. under 1 t/y per user) subject to what is set out below.
Article 3(23) defines SRD as any scientific experimentation, analysis or chemical research to be carried out "under controlled conditions" and "in a volume less than one tonne per year". Therefore, the exemption in Article 56 (3) covers an activity which is delimited by a certain level of control of risks– i.e., use under controlled conditions and in a volume less than 1 tonne per year. It also applies to the upstream life-cycle stages of the substance preceding its end-use in SRD, for the volumes ending up in that end-use and which, during the upstream life-cycle, are handled and/or used under controlled conditions, even if the volume handled and/or used during the upstream life-cycle stages exceeds 1 tonne per year.

In case of any contradictions between the position expressed in this Q&A and the positions expressed previously by ECHA in the RCOM of 20 December 2011, the position expressed in this Q&A should be considered as the current understanding of the law. It takes precedence over any other views communicated previously by ECHA on this issue.

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