Version 20210323

Terms of Use AskREACH Database incl. Supplier Frontend

These terms of use apply to the supplier frontend and database provided by the German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt, Wörlitzer Platz 1, D-06844 Dessau-Rosslau, Germany), in the following called provider,we, our, or us. The supplier frontend together with the database and the necessary business logic is in the following called services. They have been developed in the LIFE AskREACH project (LIFE 16 GIE/DE/000738).

Only commercial suppliers of consumer articles from the EU, EU candidate countries, “potential EU candidate countries”, EEA and EFTA, in the following called article supplier, database user, you, or your, are permitted to use the services and provide information about substances of very high concern (SVHCs) in the articles they supply. In addition, a consultant can register who represents such companies.

These services are provided free of charge.

The terms of use are a binding agreement. You must read and agree to these terms prior to your access and use of the services. The terms of use consist of the provisions that follow below as well as those of the data privacy declaration. If any of these provisions are changed, you will be informed accordingly. If you want to continue to use the services after the provisions have been changed, you must agree to the new provisions. If you choose not to accept the new provisions, you will no longer be able to use the services.

The provider makes every effort to ensure the smooth operation of the services over which the provider has an influence. The provider is at liberty to restrict access to the services in whole or in part, temporarily or permanently, due to maintenance work, capacity requirements, and other events beyond the provider's control.

If you have questions, comments or reservations with regard to these terms of use or our services, please contact the regional administrator in your country (see https://www.askreach.eu/app-database/).

Note that the provider and the regional administrator are independent of the article suppliers.

1. Main functions of the services

You can use our services to provide information about SVHCs in the consumer articles you supply. Please consult the FAQs in the supplier frontend about the definition of SVHCs, the consumer right to information on these substances and the scope of this right.

If you receive consumer requests from our app, you have three ways to respond to the requests:

  1. Upload SVHC information to the AskREACH database

If you enter the information about SVHCs in your articles (including packaging) in the database, consumers can access the information directly there. You will no longer receive SVHC requests through our app as long as you keep the data up-to-date according to the latest REACH candidate list (https://echa.europa.eu/candidate-list-table).

  1. Reply by e-mail

If you respond to an SVHC request by e-mail, the information you provide in your e-mail will be transmitted. The AskREACH server forwards the e-mail to the requesting party and caches it in encrypted form in the system for technical purposes, only.

  1. Direct contact

If you prefer to send your response to the requester, you can submit a request e-mail asking the consumer to contact you directly. The system will then pass this on to the consumer.

If you do not respond to an SVHC request, the system will send you a reminder after 30 days. After 45 days, you may receive another request, if the requester so wishes.

In the framework of the services we send you electronic mails. Consumer requests will be sent to the e-mail address you specify for that purpose. This e-mail address is visible in the smartphone app and web app. Other e-mails are sent to you as the contact person of your company (e.g. reminders for updating your data after REACH candidate list updates).

2. Consent and registration

If you respond via our system or upload information to our database you must consent to the conditions of use and the data privacy declaration. If you want to upload information to the database you have to register with your company name, postal address and a generic e-mail address (for receiving SVHC requests) as well as the name and e-mail address of the contact person. Our regional administrators will then verify these data and you have to authenticate your e-mail address. Independent of registering with the system, you can always specify to the regional administrators the (preferably generic) e-mail address in your company to which consumer requests shall be sent. When you register with the system you have to choose a user name and a password.

You guarantee to provide us with accurate, complete and updated registration information about yourself. You may not choose a name for your ID which you are not entitled to use, or the name of another person with the intent to imitate that person.

You assure and warrant that you are of legal age.

You will use the services only for the benefit of your company or – if you are a consultant – on behalf of your client, and not on behalf of or for the benefit of any other third party, and only in a manner consistent with all laws applicable to you. If your use of the services is prohibited by law, you may not use the services. We do not and will not assume any responsibility for your use of the services in violation of the law.

You will not share your account or password with anyone, and you must protect the security of your account and password. You are responsible for all activities associated with your account.

3. Verification/validation procedures

After you have registered with the system as an article supplier, verification will be carried out by the regional administrator in your country. Companies must confirm their wish to register by e-mail or postal letter. The verification is documented for future reference.

When article suppliers claim their GCPs and/or GTIN barcode ranges, these are validated by comparison with data in the GS1 GEPIR database. This is done automatically as far as possible. Other cases will be considered by the regional administrator.

In addition, the regional administrator verifies company e-mail addresses that are proposed by app users or article suppliers to be included in the system’s internal list of e-mail addresses. Personalised e-mail addresses are not included in this list as far as possible.

4. What do you have to consider when you upload information to the services?

We usually use the GTIN barcode as an identifier for consumer articles. However, proprietary barcodes can also be included. If you want to include your proprietary barcode system, please contact the regional administrator in your country.

When you register with our services you have to specify if you are a barcode owner, a retailer, both, or neither. As a barcode owner, you have to specify your GCPs and/or barcode ranges, otherwise the system does not accept you as a barcode owner. If you are a wholesaler or distributor, choose neither barcode owner nor retailer.

We allow consumers to upload certain article information (article name, brand/company and a photo of the article). This information is marked as crowdsourced and is replaced as soon as an article supplier uploads their own information for the same barcode. We are not liable for any errors or omissions in crowdsourced information or contents, or for any damages or losses you may suffer in connection with this.

The SVHC information you upload to the system is shown to all app users who request this information via the system. It is always clearly recognisable that the information originates from your company and that your company is solely responsible for its correctness. Company specific SVHC information can be seen by the technical administrator (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology LIST, rue du Brill 41, L-4422 Belvaux Luxembourg) and the global administrator (German Environment Agency UBA, Wörlitzer Platz 1, D-06844 Dessau-Rosslau, Germany).

Information about the presence of SVHCs in a given article may be uploaded by several retailers, wholesalers or distributors. It is therefore possible that conflicting information is contained in the database.

Your contact details, GCPs/barcode ranges and information about your response behaviour will be made available to the regional administrators via the AskREACH system. They may then approach the companies which did not respond in order to find out why not. Regional administrators (including LIST and UBA) may publish anonymous statistics from the database. Company specific data other than that mentioned above may only be viewed by regional administrators in the framework of their helpdesk activities, and with your agreement. Data protection agreements according to GDPR Art. 28 have been concluded between UBA and LIST, UBA and the organisations of the regional administrators, and between LIST and the external host.

You receive a reminder to update your data every time the REACH candidate list is updated. If you do not update your SVHC data in the database after a new candidate list has been published, a corresponding remark is added to your SVHC data. The data are still shown to app users together with this remark. App users may then again send you consumer requests until you update your data.

You ensure, guarantee and agree not to enter or upload contents or contributions that are against the law, or infringe on the rights of others. Contents/contributions must not be harmful, fraudulent, deceptive, threatening, harassing, defamatory, obscene or otherwise objectionable. Article suppliers who upload article photos to the database are reminded that these photos should show exclusively the consumer article in question, but not persons, vehicle registration plates, items that suggest in which shop the photo was taken, etc.

The article supplier grants the provider a spatially and temporally unlimited, irrevocable, non-exclusive, royalty-free right, transferable to third parties, to use the contents uploaded to the services. The provider is entitled to use the contents at any time. This includes in particular the right of public accessibility via the European app. This provision does not affect the article supplier's right to grant third parties the rights to content under certain licensing models.

For all your submissions, you hereby grant a licence to translate, modify (for technical purposes), reproduce, and otherwise act on your submissions to enable us to operate the services in any event. This is only a licence - your ownership of the submissions is not affected. This licence is granted free of charge on any material and intangible medium, in Europe.

Finally, you acknowledge and agree that we may need to make changes to your submissions in order to customise and adapt them to the technical requirements of connection networks, devices, services or media when performing the necessary technical steps to provide the services to our app users, and the aforementioned licences include the right to do so.

We also reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to remove content from the services at any time if someone claims that the content you have contributed violates these terms. In this case you would be notified accordingly.

When creating own contents, the article supplier undertakes to comply with applicable legislation (e.g. criminal law, competition law, and youth protection law) and not to infringe on the rights of third parties (e.g. name, trademark, copyright and data protection rights).

In the event that the contents contain hyperlinks to pages of third parties, the article supplier warrants that they have the right to use the hyperlink and gives assurance that the website to which reference is made ("landing page") complies with the law and the rights of third parties.

The provider is entitled to block access to individual contents at any time, e.g. if it is suspected that these violate applicable law or the rights of third parties. The article supplier has no claim to the maintenance of individual functionalities of the services.

We reserve the right to check the information on SVHCs in articles in the AskREACH database. Our project partners in LIFE AskREACH buy articles randomly for which information is available in the database. These are then chemically analyzed. If SVHCs are found to be present in the articles at concentrations above 0.1% w/w, although the supplier has stated in the database that this is not the case, the supplier will be contacted and given the opportunity to make a statement prior to any other action. The results of the analyses will be published. Some project partners reserve the right to publish the names of the responsible companies in their own report, together with the test results for the products they purchased. The official AskREACH report will not contain company names. Further regulatory action may be initiated by project partners in case of non-compliance with existing legislation.

5. What happens if an article is no longer marketed?

You can mark as inactive an article that is no longer marketed. Nevertheless, the SVHC information should stay in the database, because consumers might still request this information.

6. Barcode clashes

It is possible to store SVHC information about different articles which have the same barcode number or different versions of the same article with identical barcode.

7. Language issues

You receive a consumer request in the language of the consumer and in English. You will also be informed about the country of origin of the consumer so that you can respond to them by e-mail in the appropriate language, if you so wish. However, if you upload your article information to our database, there will be an automatic translation of the standardised data. Non-formalised data are at present not translated, e.g. information on safe use, PDFs, links etc.

8. Retailers – barcode owners

Consumers will send SVHC requests via our app to barcode owners and retailers. The addressee is responsible for the response to the request. A request addressed to a barcode owner may be sent in copy to the retailer. In such cases, the retailer is also informed if an SVHC request has not been answered by the barcode owner of the article within 30 days (reminder) and again after 45 days. The retailer may choose to answer the request on their own.

9. Further obligations of the database users

The database user must refrain from any activity that is likely to impair and/or overload the operation of the portal or the technical infrastructure behind it. Any violation of this will terminate your right to use or access the services.

Should the use of the services or their functionalities be disrupted, the database user shall immediately inform the provider or the regional administrator. The same shall apply if the database user obtains information about content published by third parties which obviously violates applicable law or the rights of third parties.

10. Who is responsible for information uploaded/transmitted by database or app users?

Any information or contents published or transmitted through the services by database or app users is the sole responsibility of the person from whom such contents originate. We accept no responsibility for the correctness of information given by article suppliers or consumers. Opinions that might be expressed by database or app users do not necessarily reflect our own views.

Article suppliers and app users access all such information and contents at their own risk and we are not liable for any errors or omissions in such information or contents or for any damages or losses anyone may suffer in connection therewith. We cannot control and are under no obligation to take any action concerning how database and app users interpret and use the contents or what actions they take after they have been exposed to the contents. You hereby release us from any liability for your receipt or non-acceptance of contents through the services. We cannot guarantee the identity of all app users with whom you interact in the course of using the services and are not responsible for who gains access to the app.

11. Where can I get help?

Please consult the user guide on the AskREACH website or the website of your regional administrator (see https://www.askreach.eu/app-database). You can always review the audit log information of data manipulation in your account and in doing so trace back data modifications to the individual author/editor. Finally, you can always approach your regional administrator for help (see https://www.askreach.eu/app-database).

12. What happens if I don’t want to use the services anymore?

If you want to delete your account in our system, send an e-mail to your regional administrator. Please read our Privacy Policy and the licences listed above to learn more about how we treat the information you have provided to us when you stop using our services. Information about your articles will stay in the database, but is marked as inactive. We may also terminate your use of or suspend access to the services for any reason at our discretion, including your violation of these terms. We have the sole right to determine whether you are in breach of any of the restrictions set forth in these terms.

13. Copyright and trademark law

The materials displayed, performed or made available on or through the services, including but not limited to text, graphics, data, articles, photographs, images, illustrations, or user submissions (all of the foregoing being referred to as "contents") are protected by copyright and/or other intellectual property laws. You agree to comply with all copyright notices, trademark rules, information and restrictions of any contents you access. You agree to refrain from using, copying, reproducing, modifying, translating, publishing, transmitting, distributing, performing, uploading, displaying, licensing, selling or otherwise exploiting any contents not owned by you for any purpose

14. Liability

The provider and the regional administrator make no guarantees as to the availability, reliability, or functionality of the supplier frontend and the database, or their suitability for your purposes.

Liability is expressly excluded unless it concerns intent, gross negligence, injury to life, body or health, the assumption of a quality guarantee, or fraudulent concealment of a defect, or where the breach of essential contractual obligations or liability is based on Product Liability Law. Significant contractual obligations are those obligations the fulfillment of which enables the proper execution of a contract in the first place and on the compliance of which the contracting parties may regularly rely. Liability for breach of essential contractual obligations is limited to contractually typical, foreseeable damage, unless in cases of intent or gross negligence.

The information from the database is made available as produced or received without any express or tacit guarantee. The absence of defects or possible errors is not guaranteed by the provider and the regional administrator.

Any guarantee as to the identity of all other database or app users or the information transmitted by them and with whom an interaction is carried out during the use of the services is also excluded as well as any recourse or action for liability or compensation.

The database user is solely responsible for the use of the services and in particular for the data and information provided or exchanged, including in the event of any direct or indirect damage caused to third parties. Database users are in particular solely responsible for the interpretation and use they make of the information obtained.

In addition, the use by the database user must not mislead third parties, in particular with regard to the content of the information obtained, its source, and date of updates.

15. Right of recourse

The database user indemnifies the provider, the regional administrator and their employees or agents against all claims by third parties in the event of claims based on alleged or actual infringement of rights and/or infringement of the rights of third parties by actions undertaken by the database user in connection with the use of the services. In addition, the database user undertakes to reimburse all costs incurred by the provider and the regional administrator as a result of claims made by third parties. Reimbursable costs also include the costs of reasonable legal defence.

16. Jurisdiction

These terms of use shall be governed by German law and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the court of Dessau-Rosslau (Germany). For disputes between the database user and the regional administrator, the respective national laws apply and the courts in the country of the regional administrator are responsible.

17. Severability clause

Should one of the above provisions be or become invalid, the remaining provisions shall continue to apply.