On 23rd January 2019, the UK Government has issued a guidance to businesses that use chemicals on the actions they should take now to minimise any disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit. In the event of no deal, the EU REACH Regulation will be brought into UK law by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. The Act replicates REACH in the UK whilst making the changes necessary to make it work outside of the EU.
If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal, UK businesses that manufacture or import chemicals from the EU will have to register those chemicals to a new UK regulatory system. UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) will replace EU REACH and will require businesses to demonstrate how a chemical can be safely used with minimal risk to human health or the environment.
The chemicals sector is the UK’s second biggest manufacturing industry and UK businesses currently hold over 12,000 registrations with REACH. A ‘no deal’ would mean that a range of other key sectors would also be required to register any imported chemicals they use on UK REACH. This would include the motor manufacturing, cosmetics, construction and cleaning products industries.
In addition, more technical information will need to be submitted by businesses to HSE within two years of EU Exit. The requirements are part of the Government’s commitment to maintain environmental standards after leaving the EU. In order to register on UK REACH in a no deal scenario, businesses need to take the following action:
- Identify the chemical and quantity that they use;
- Understand how to register that chemical by reading the EU Exit guidance; and
- Prepare the information for that registration.
Businesses that may be affected should read the latest guidance on requirements for using chemicals after the UK leaves the EU.
REACH: What you’ll need to do in a no deal scenario, published on the HSE webpage on 23rd January 2019