CHCS  Chemical Hazards Communication Society  Promoting the awareness of chemical hazards & improvements in their identification & communication


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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:

  • REACH registrations would be made directly to ECHA, without the need for an Only Representative (OR);
  • REACH registrations undertaken in the UK would be recognised within the EU;
  • Both the above options become possible.

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 for more information and guidance covering other important exit scenario topics.


 CHCS Training

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:

Legislation (Introduction) Brexit Transport: Modal Regulations
International Legislation GHS Pictograms
European Legislation EU Law Making Process
UK Legislation EH40  

For CHCS members only: 

REACH Regulation Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Seveso III Directive
CLP Regulation The Cosmetics Regulation Tracking Substances
Poison Centre Notification
The Biocidal Products Regulation Chemical Agents At Work
Carcinogens & Mutagens At Work EU Workplace Exposure Limits EH40
Waste EU Circular Economy Package  Transport: Model Regulations
Transport: UK Requirements    

Page updated September 2020


Poison Centre Portal Updated 
The poison centre portal has recently been updated to support amended Annex VIII solutions. In particular, derogations for fuels, construction products (standard formulas) and the cross-sector concept of interchangeable components. CHCS members can read more on our News Briefings page[Posted on 30 October 2020]

Have you registered for the CHCS AGM & Annual Lectures? 
24 & 25 November 2020, online

As well as the Formal business of the AGM, we will feature presentations on Poison Centre Notification, a Transport of Dangerous Goods update, Enforcement of REACH & CLP for Consumer Products and a UK Chemicals Regulations update. Register Now.  [Posted on 26 October 2020]

New CHCS Workshop: "SCIP Workshop - The Database of Substances of Concern In articles as such or in complex objects (Products)"
13 Nov 2020, online

By the end of this session you will be able to make notifications to the SCIP database using the new harmonised format in the ECHA portal. Only 14 places left. Register Now.  [Posted on 6 October 2020]

Member States Slowly Starting To Use The New Portal
There are now six Member States that are accepting Annex VIII notifications through the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) portal.
CHCS members can read more on our News Briefings page[Posted on 24 August 2020]

Option To Anonymise The Unique Formula Identifier (UFI)
The Unique Formula Identifier (UFI) generator has been updated to allow companies to chose not to use their company VAT number to create their UFIs.
CHCS members can read more on our News Briefings page[Posted on 22 June 2020]

Endocrine Disruptors - 1st CHCS Video

We have produced our first video for members: "Endocrine Disruptors", which is available to members free-of-charge.

This introductory video explains the various components of the human endocrine system and how they interact, to help understand the mechanisms of endocrine disruptors on human systems.

The video is just over 10 minutes long.

To register for access to the video, please visit our video registration page: Endocrine Disruptors Video Registration.

[Posted on 1 July 2019]

News Briefings Summary
  • 26 May 2020
    New ECHA CLP Guidance Documents Published

  • 19 May 2020
    Draft Regulation Amending Article 25 Of CLP

  • 23 April 2020
    Draft Second Amendment to Annex VIII of CLP

  • 23 April 2020
    Reminder: 13th ATP to CLP applicable from 1st May 2020

  • 23 March 2020
    Multilateral Agreements For ADR & RID

  • 17 March 2020
    The Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

  • 3 March 2020
    UK Chemical Industry: Regulatory Divergence

  • 2 March 2020
    Corrigendum To the 14th ATP Published

  • 10 February 2020
    Third Corrigendum To ADR 2019 Published

  • 13 January 2020
    Poison Centres - Annex VIII amendment published

  • 21 November 2019
    CHCS 2019 AGM & Annual Lectures: Presentations Now Available

  • 21 November 2019
    Commission Directive (EU) 2019/1831 Establishes  A 5th List Of Indicative Occupational Exposure Limit Values (IOELVs)

  • 12 November 2019
    ECHA publishes draft CoRAP for 2020-2022

    CHCS Members can read these News items, and older posts, on the CHCS News Briefings page.

    Next 3 CHCS Training Courses:

    For a full list of our CHCS Training Courses, please visit our Training page. 



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