UK government publishes additional REACH guidance in case of no-deal Brexit

Article by Amanda Doyle

THE UK government has published additional documentation on how the UK will manage chemical regulation if it is no longer part of the EU REACH legislation.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) released guidance on chemical regulations in case of a no-deal Brexit, which expands on the report that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) released in September.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the UK will replicate EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) in the form of a UK REACH, but would make necessary changes allowing it to work outside the EU. The EU REACH is implemented by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and the HSE would act as the agency managing UK REACH. The HSE has emphasised that companies should review their roles within both EU and UK REACH as there may be significant changes.

A number of actions may need to be taken to maintain or gain access to the EU/EEA and UK markets. UK companies will need to transfer registrations to an EU company to continue to have access to the EU market, and companies holding an EU REACH registration would also need to have a valid UK REACH registration in order to maintain access to the UK market.

If there is no deal, the UK and EU regulatory agencies would operate independently, which would mean that companies will have to register the same chemicals independently with both agencies. Similar fees would exist for applications made under UK REACH as in EU REACH. However, a phased approach will be implemented to minimise disruption. Companies currently holding EU REACH registrations will have 60 days to submit basic data and two years to submit the full data package to register chemicals under UK REACH. UK downstream users who don’t have EU REACH registrations have 180 days to provide the basic data and must provide the full registration data within two years. The report notes that accessing the data currently held by the ECHA in order to submit reregistration under UK REACH may require renegotiating contracts and letters of access.

The HSE guidance can be read here.

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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