On 8 December, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) issued an update of Chapter R.12 of the Guidance on information requirements and chemical safety assessment (IR&CSA) on use description.


The purpose of this updated Guidance is to help registrants improve the description of uses of their chemicals with regard to the context of the registration dossier. This part of a series of guidance documents intends to support all stakeholders in preparing to fulfill their obligations under the REACH Regulation.


In this document, stakeholders will find the information requirements under the REACH Regulation concerning the substance properties, exposure, use and risk management measures, and the chemical safety assessment. These documents also offer detailed guidelines for both essential REACH processes and some specific scientific and/or technical methods that industry or authorities have to implement under the REACH Regulation. In other words, it covers the principles and elements for describing the uses of chemical substances, the role that the use description plays in different REACH processes and the related legal requirements. They also include:

  • New use descriptor (Life cycle stage)
  • Modifications of the descriptors already available
  • An appendix on how to manage these changes

The aim of this guidance is:

  • explain the role of use-information for the various REACH processes
  • explain the related legal requirements
  • set out the principles for describing the uses of chemical substances


A use in this context means any utilization of a substance as such or in a mixture, for example formulation of mixtures or production of an article.


Who should read this guidance?

This guidance is useful for registrants and downstream users, because it is important to communicate with each other in order to achieve a meaningful description of uses in the registration dossier and in the extended safety data sheets. Additionally, downstream users have to read this guideline to get familiar with its principles in the context of a downstream user report according to Article 38 of REACH and find out what it should contain to best serve its purposes.


Finally, authorities could also benefit from reading this guidance, because they deal with use information from registrations (e.g. substance evaluation).


You can obtain the guidance documents via the website of the European Chemicals Agency at: