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How will Brexit affect the REACH regulation?

Brexit and UK REACH

On the 31st January 2020, the United Kingdom left the European Union and has entered into a transition period. During the transition, regulatory arrangements remain the same for the UK and EU markets, however, a future agreement still remains to be negotiated for when the period is over.

It looks increasingly likely that the UK will seek regulatory divergence and introduce a new UK REACH legislation to replace the EU regulation.

There will not be alignment, we will not be a rule taker, we will not be in the single market and we will not be in the customs union – and we will do this by the end of the year.

Sajid Javid, Chancellor of the UK Government, 18th January 2020

If made law, UK REACH will introduce a new set of rules for companies that were familiar with the EU REACH regime. UK REACH will apply to the United Kingdom and EU REACH will continue to apply to the European Economic Area, which will, by then, exclude the UK.

When will UK REACH become law?

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal or with a deal that does not allow it to partake in EU REACH then UK REACH will be enacted in UK law.

It looks increasingly likely that UK REACH will be legislated in early 2021 and all companies that want to access the UK market will have to comply.

What should you do to prepare?

If you plan to import, manufacture, distribute or use chemicals or physical goods in the EU or UK after Brexit then you may be affected and should start planning now.

  1. Create a substance inventory for your products using our guidance; How to determine EU REACH compliance?
  2. Review each product in your inventory and identify compliance obligations and risks that would be triggered in the event that UK REACH becomes law;
    • Compliance obligations and risks for trading in the EU27
    • Compliance obligations and risks for trading in the UK
  3. Prepare and act when necessary to maintain REACH compliance in the EU and UK Markets as soon as the legislation allows

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Steven Brennan

Steven is a Regulatory Consultant and helps companies to maintain compliance with chemical regulations. He writes about REACH, RoHS and other environmental regulations in his spare time.

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