ABSTRACT The new European REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation of Chemicals) legislation requires new information on chemicals, which is tiered according to production volume. The need for data promotes the use of (quantitative) structure-activity relationships ([Q]SARs) in order to meet the European political goal to protect the lives of animals. Within the preparation for REACH, the EU Commission set up REACH implementation projects (RIPs). They are aimed at giving guidance to industry and regulators on how to interpret the legislation. Within the framework of REACH, (Q)SARs are expected to have specific applications in several fields such as raising concerns for chemicals with low production volume for which no (eco)toxicological data have to be submitted, supporting the grouping of chemicals (family approach), and supporting the classification of chemicals as PBT (persistent/bioaccumulative/toxic) or vPvB (very persistent, very bioaccumulative) substances. Currently, the use of (Q)SARs in European regulatory decision making is limited. However, a new European tool (Toxtree) will be made available along with training courses to promote the use of (Q)SAR approaches under REACH. It is expected that the experimental data, to be submitted by industry and made publicly available under REACH, will provide opportunities to improve existing prediction tools and to develop new approaches for (Q)SAR analysis. In the political perspective, the tools will provide support as a rational basis for the intelligent design of new chemicals with sustainable (eco)toxicological properties.