BrexitDownload As A PDF
Note to Readers
The negotiations between the UK and the European Union (EU) are in the final stages, as the transition period draws to close. The UK will officially leave the EU on the 31 December 2020.
This Page will be updated when the future relationship with the European Union has been fully negotiated i.e. at the end of the transition period when the impact on the chemical Industry will be fully realised.
Future Relationship Chemical Regulation, Focus On REACH
The political declaration accompanying the withdrawal agreement, indicates that the UK and the EU would like to explore possibilities for regulatory alignment as part of their future trade agreement. Early on, the UK government intended to seek agreement for associate membership of ECHA and co-operation on REACH to ensure that REACH registrations undertaken by UK companies remain valid in the EU and UK markets, post Brexit.
The UK government also seemed set to obtain agreement for future EU-REACH registrations to be undertaken by UK companies:
Conversely, EU REACH registrations obtained by EU/EEA entities, would be accepted by UK authorities for the purposes of supply to the UK market.
However, current indications are that the UK government is now less intent on achieving associate membership of ECHA, or in obtaining a reciprocal agreement on REACH.
The position from the EU side is that only EEA-based companies can REACH register a substance (deal or no deal). As a third country, UK companies will be unable to register substances directly and will lose registrations already completed. UK suppliers to the EU market will have to appoint an OR, or rely on the importer to conduct registration, where required. An alternative option is to move operations to the EU, or transfer registrations to an EU based OR. In the case of substances already registered, this must be completed before the withdrawal date and notified to ECHA.
Conversely, UK importers of substances, mixtures and certain articles from the EEA will lose downstream user status, unless an EEA supplier is willing to engage the services of a UK-based OR. Without this, importers will be burdened with UK-REACH registration duties, according to reciprocal regulation already enacted in the UK to facilitate Brexit. UK-REACH registration will be costly, time consuming and may become the responsibility of organisations inexperienced in REACH regulatory processes. It is estimated that UK companies have already spent around £250 million on REACH registrations.
UK REACH (Following A Deal That Does Not Include REACH)
The UK government has put in place legislation to replace EU chemicals regulations. This includes legislation to replace REACH, CLP, BPR and PIC.
European Union (EU) REACH registrations held by UK-based companies will be ‘grandfathered’ directly into UK REACH, provided basic information on the substance is submitted to the UK Competent Authority, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) by 30 April 2021. The process of full registration must now be completed within phased time periods (2, 4 or 6 years) from 28 October 2021, depending on tonnage/hazard.
Grandfathering will apply to all registrations (including intermediates) held by UK-based entities, including importers and UK-based ORs, and to sole, lead or joint registrants at the time of exit. It also applies to all registrations held by UK companies at any point since 29 March 2017, which is important as registrations transferred to an EU/EEA based entity will be carried over into the UK system.
Grandfathering will not apply to registrations held by organisations established outside of the UK, regardless of whether they are part of a group of companies with a UK presence. In this instance, only registrations that have been transferred to a UK-based entity before the UK leaves the EU will be grandfathered into the system.
The UK-REACH legislation provides transitional arrangements for UK Importers, by allowing an interim notification (rather than immediate registration) of chemicals imported from the EEA, or Third Countries covered by a registration made by an EEA based OR. This interim notification, termed a Downstream User Import Notification (DUIN) must be submitted by 27 October 2021.
A full UK REACH registration for these imports must then be submitted to the HSE within the time periods specified above from 28 October 2021 i.e. 2, 4 or 6 years. An alternative option is to persuade the EU/EEA supplier to appoint a UK-based Only Representative (OR) to register the substance, or source a UK registered supplier for the substance, if possible.
The bands are provided below, with the deadlines set to ensure that substances high tonnage, high hazard chemicals are registered first.
There is no certainty at this time on how the REACH relationship will work. Switzerland recognises REACH, but Swiss companies selling chemical products to the EU market must register substances through an OR based in the EU. The EEA Countries Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland have full membership of ECHA, but no voting rights.
CHCS will keep members informed and is ready to deliver training, depending on the future negotiations.
See www.gov.uk/brexit for more information and guidance covering other important exit scenario topics.
CHCS offers Modular Training Courses on the writing of Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), and related issues such as classification, labelling and other documentation.
For more information see CHCS Training.
If you have any queries about our training, please Contact CHCS.
Chemicals Legislation Support From CHCS
We provide a range of pages on this website to give you an introduction to different aspects of chemicals legislation / regulation:
Poison Centre Portal Updated