Common EU Regulation Ceases

Chemicals are subject to a common EU system of registration and regulation. The Health and Safety Executive is the principal UK authority.

In the event of a hard no deal Brexit, UK proposes to preserve the basic legislation on the regulation of chemicals REACH. It proposes a new but equivalent regulatory framework which

  • allows registration of new chemicals through a UK IT system similar to the existing EU IT system
  • provides the specialist capacity to evaluate the impact of chemicals on the health and the environment
  • ensure sufficient regulatory and enforcement capacity in the HSE, the Environment Agency and other regulators.

In principle, companies and businesses registered in the UK would no longer be able to sell into the EU/EEA market without transferring the registrations to an EEA organisation so as to preserve EEA market access.

UK downstream users currently importing chemicals from an EEA country would be subject to new registration requirements. Under the UK replacement requirement, each importer would have to register chemicals. UK downstream holders authorisations would no longer be able to rely on them as an EU authorisation.

UK Mitigation

The UK proposes to

  • carry existing REACH registrations held by UK companies directly into the UK replacement regime;
  • set up transitional light touch notification processes for UK companies importing chemicals from EEA which do not have REACH registration at the  time of Brexit
  • carry into the UK system all existing authorisations to continue using high-risk chemicals held by UK companies.

UK businesses with existing EU REACH registrations will be automatically grandfathered to the new UK regime. The must open an account with the new UK IT system and provide basic information within 60 days. Companies with grandfathered registrations will have two years from the date the UK leaves the EU to provide the UK authority (HSE) with the full data packs that supported their original EU registration as held on the ECHA IT system.

Businesses in the UK that import chemicals from the EEA before the UK leaves but which do not have REACH registration must notify the UK authority within 180 days instead of having to undertake full registration. They would be afforded an interim arrangement and not be obliged to move to full registration until a later date. Importing businesses will be responsible for identifying appropriate risk management measures and recommending them to their customers .

UK companies with existing REACH registrations wishing to maintain EEA market access would need to transfer the registrations to appropriate EEA based entity

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