European defence agencies are seeking exemptions for military products from the EU’s REACH system of chemical legislation.
The REACH and CLP Regulations (and the processes involved e.g. authorisation, restrictions) may have a significant impact on European defence capabilities during the whole life cycle of defence equipment (design, manufacturing, in-service use and maintenance, disposal) and therefore on the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB). EU Ministries of Defence (MoDs) and their suppliers, namely defence industry, may not be able to implement all technological changes needed in order to be REACH compliant at a reasonable cost while maintaining the required performance level. In addition to REACH and CLP, other European Regulations on chemicals (e.g. BPR, ODS, POP) also have an impact on European defence capabilities. Among the aforementioned chemical Regulations, REACH, and the associated CLP Regulation, may have the greatest impact on defence capabilities,primarily due to the extended lifecycle of military equipment.