September 16, 2020
On September 1, 2020, the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published guidance on how to comply with REACH chemical regulations when using, making, selling or importing chemicals in the EU, and how to prepare for January 1, 2021.
As of January 1, 2021, the EU REACH Regulation EC/1907/2006 on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals will no longer apply in the United Kingdom (UK). The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) will implement a similar type of UK based REACH legal system, referred to as “UK REACH”.
Great Britain based businesses that currently place chemicals and distribute them in the European Union and are currently holding EU REACH registrations need to:
- Transfer their registrations to an EU/European Economic Area (EEA) based entity
- Support their EU/EEA based importer to become registrants
In any case, Great Britain based entities currently holding EU REACH registrations, will also need a valid UK REACH registration to maintain business continuity in the UK market.
Likewise, EU/EEA based companies that intend to continue to place chemicals on the UK market will officially become EU exporters. They must ensure that they are covered by a valid UK REACH registration. These companies can register the substance under UK REACH through a UK based Only Representative (OR) or an affiliate UK importer.
As of January 1, 2021, EU rules on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals (REACH) will no longer apply in the United Kingdom. Therefore, REACH authorisations will not be valid in the UK. The HSE will implement a similar type of UK based REACH legal system, but this has not yet been established.
All existing authorisations which have gone through the full authorisation process and have a review date will be valid and recognised by UK REACH. Therefore, chemicals can continue to be used by UK companies who rely on these authorisations. New authorisation applications and authorisations waiting for EU/ECHA approval, must be submitted to UK REACH.
UK downstream User Registration
UK downstream users that do not currently hold a EU REACH registration and are importing chemicals from an EU/EEA country must ensure that the substances or mixtures have been registered with UK REACH.
Businesses currently relying on a registration held by an EU/EEA based company can continue importing substances as they do now on January 1, 2021.
These UK downstream users must notify the HSE using a Downstream User Import Notification (DUIN) of their intention to continue importing substances from the EU/EEA by October 27, 2021.
A new registration must then be submitted to the HSE within 2, 4 or 6 years of October 28, 2021. Alternatively, UK downstream users can encourage their EU/EEA supplier to appoint a UK based Only Representative (OR), or change their source to a UK registered supplier.
Chemicals manufactured or imported at high tonnage and those substances with particularly hazardous properties will have to be registered first.
|October 28, 2023||1000 tonnes or more per year||● Carcinogenic, Mutagenic or Toxic for reproduction (CMRs) – 1 tonne or more per year
● Very toxic to aquatic organisms (acute or chronic) – 100 tonnes or more per year
● Candidate list substances (as at 31 December 2020)
|October 28, 2025||100 tonnes or more per year||Candidate list substances (as at 27 October 2023)|
|October 28, 2027||1 tonne or more per year|
UK held registrations: ‘grandfathering’
EU REACH registrations held by UK based companies will be directly recognised by UK REACH via a process identified as ‘grandfathering’ the registrations into the new UK REACH regime.
In order to ‘grandfather’ currently held EU REACH registrations into the UK REACH system, UK based holders must notify and provide basic information to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) by April 30, 2021. The grandfathering process must be completed within 2, 4 or 6 years of October 28, 2021, depending on the tonnage of the substances/mixtures placed on the market.
The information that must be notified by UK based holders will be similar or identical to what holders previously provided for EU REACH.
In the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), has the policy lead on REACH and developed the enforcement arrangements, acting with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Devolved Administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
DEFRA will set up an online service ‘Comply with UK REACH’ that is expected to go live on January 1, 2021.
Recommended Action Items
From January 1, 2021, UK based businesses must ensure they notify the HSE via the UK REACH Online service and:
- Validate existing UK-held EU registrations (‘Grandfathering’) to ensure business continuity
- Submit downstream user import notifications (DUIN) under UK REACH by October 27, 2021
- Submit new substance registrations under UK REACH according to deadlines based on tonnage within 2, 4 or 6 years of October 28, 2021, or, alternatively,
- UK downstream users can encourage their EU/EEA supplier to appoint a UK based Only Representative (OR), or change their source to a UK registered supplier.
- Provide information on any authorisation matter, including new authorisation application, grandfathering of existing authorisations, and downstream user notifications of authorised uses
DEFRA Guidance on How to comply with REACH chemical regulations. Updated September 1, 2020. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-comply-with-reach-chemical-regulations