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.