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REACH Responsibilities After the Brexit Transition Period 

The UK has left the EU, and is currently in a transition period which will come to an end on 31 December 2020. After this period the United Kingdom will implement its own independent chemicals regulatory framework ‘UK REACH’. This will mean that for market access in the EU and UK, separate registrations will be needed for substances under both (EU) REACH and UK REACH. The UK government has provided updated guidance on the measures needed for registrations under the new UK REACH system. 

As the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement transition period nears its end, the UK government has published updated guidance on complying with the new UK REACH regulation Under UK REACH, manufactures and importers will have a duty to register chemicals that are produced, distributed or sold in the UK. This change means companies should review their substance registrations and roles in chemical supply chains to ensure continued compliance in the UK and/or the EU where separate registrations will be needed. 

To help clarify the new responsibilities for businesses, the UK government has released guidance for compliance with UK REACH, which comes into effect on 1 January 2021. The guidance clarifies that UK REACH will maintain EU REACH’s key aims and principles, including; the “no data, no market” principle, the “last resort” principle on animal testing, access to information for workers and, the precautionary principle. [1] Also outlined are the actions business must take upon the implementation of UK REACH to ensure compliance with the new framework and undisrupted access to the UK market. 

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The Impact of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on your CLP Responsibilities

Following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union on 29th March 2019, chemical suppliers must be aware of the impact of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on their responsibilities for the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures marketed in the UK.

The Brexit withdrawal date will soon be upon us, and there currently remains no finalised agreement on the terms of the UK’s departure. In the absence of such an agreement, a ‘no-deal’ scenario would come into effect, with EU legislation ceasing to apply in the UK.

Under a ‘no-deal’ scenario, the UK would establish an independent, stand alone regulatory regime for chemicals. As part of this regime, to replace the EU’s regulation on the classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) of substances and mixtures (Regulation 1272/2008), the UK would adopt the UN globally harmonised system (GHS). As the EU’s CLP regulation adopts the UN’s GHS on the classification and labelling of chemicals, the duties of suppliers of chemicals in the UK will be expected to remain broadly the same as those in the EU. However, some procedural differences can be expected, including:

  • Companies operating in the UK will deal with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in place of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).
  • Companies will need to classify and label products separately with regards to placing on the market in the UK or the EU.

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The Impact of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on the Regulation of Plant Protection Products in the UK

With the United Kingdom due to leave the European Union on 29th March 2019, businesses concerned with the registration of plant protection products must now look to see how they are affected if a withdrawal agreement is not in-place after exit day.

The terms of the UK’s departure from the EU are still unclear, meaning continued uncertainty for businesses. If a withdrawal agreement can be reached between the UK and EU there will be an implementation period during which the UK will comply with EU laws, and data sharing between the EU and the UK is expected to continue. However, with little time remaining there is an increasing possibility that an agreement will not be reached, forcing a ‘no-deal’ scenario.

With respect to plant protection products (PPPs), in a ‘no-deal’ scenario, the current EU regulatory regime will be converted into UK law and will remain very similar to the existing EU regime. When this happens, PPP applications for products intended for the UK market will need to comply with the new UK regulatory framework and must be submitted to the UK authority (Health and Safety Executive, HSE).

The UK government and HSE have issued guidance for business which outlines plans for the UK regulation of PPPs in a no-deal scenario and the necessary measures businesses will need to take in order to be prepared.[1], [2]

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The Impact of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on your REACH Responsibilities

*Please also refer to our updated article written on the 12th October:

With the United Kingdom due to leave the European Union in less than 2 months, chemical manufacturers and businesses concerned with chemical supply chains must now be undertaking contingency planning to ensure continued regulatory compliance in the UK and EU, and minimise disruption to their business activities.

As the UK prepares to withdraw from the EU on 29th March 2019 much uncertainty remains over the terms of departure. With the UK parliament voting against the initially agreed withdrawal agreement, and the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, now wishing to reopen negotiations with Brussels, there is an increasing likelihood of the UK exiting the EU with no deal agreed. 

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