The United Kingdom (UK) has left the European Union (EU), and the Brexit transition period ends this this year. On 1 January 2021 UK REACH, the UK’s independent chemicals regulatory framework, comes into force. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has published guidance to help UK companies achieve compliance with REACH chemical regulations.
Manufacturers, suppliers, and distributors of hazardous chemicals in the UK must comply with UK REACH, which upholds the principles and objectives of EU REACH. Companies that manufacture and import hazardous chemicals to the UK have registration obligations.
Great Britain (GB)-based companies that are registered under EU REACH will need to transfer their registrations to an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) organization or they will not be permitted sell hazardous products in the EU/EEA.
The process for moving goods from Northern Ireland (NI) to and from the EU will not change from 1 January 2021. Additional guidance is expected to be published for NI businesses moving goods to the UK.
UK held registrations: ‘grandfathering’
EU REACH registrations held by UK companies will be ‘grandfathered’ into the new UK REACH regime. To advance this process, UK-based holders of EU REACH registrations must provide basic information to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) by 30 April 2021.
The submission of data for registration dossiers must be completed within 2, 4, or 6 years of 28 October 2021, depending on the tonnage bands. The required information will be the same or similar to what was previously provided under EU REACH.
EU held registrations: UK downstream users
UK companies that import chemicals from the EU/EEA and do not have an EU REACH registration must ensure the substances they purchase are covered by a valid UK REACH registration. Businesses currently relying on a registration held by an EU/EEA-based company can continue importing substances into next year, and they will need to notify the HSE of their intention to continue importing substances from the EU/EEA by 27 October 2021. A new registration will need to be submitted to the HSE within 2, 4, or 6 years of 28 October 2021, depending on the tonnage bands.
From 1 January 2021, UK downstream users will no longer be able to rely on EU REACH authorization decisions for EU/EEA organizations. All existing authorizations that have gone through the full authorization process will be recognized by UK REACH, but new applications and those waiting for EU approval must be submitted to UK REACH.
EU market access
GB-based entities will need to transfer their registrations to an EU/EEA-based entity or support their EU/EEA-based importers to become registrants.
The process for moving goods from Northern Ireland (NI) to and from the EU will not change from 1 January 2021.
Comply with UK REACH – online service
On 1 January 2021, the new online service ‘Comply with UK REACH’ will go live. Companies can use the service to:
- validate existing UK-held EU registrations (‘Grandfathering’)
- submit downstream user import notifications (DUIN)
- submit new substance registrations
- submit new product and process orientated research and development (PPORD) notifications
Importing from the EU to the UK
EU/EEA based companies who import chemicals into the UK will need to ensure that they are covered by a valid UK REACH registration. A UK-based only representative or an affiliate UK importer can complete the registration.
The full guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-comply-with-reach-chemical-regulations
For support in achieving compliance, contact Nexreg today!