Companies that manufacture or import chemicals from the EU need to take action now to minimise any disruption in the event of a no deal Brexit.
The government is warning companies that they will have to register their chemicals to a new UK regulatory system if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March.
The EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) initiative, which requires businesses to demonstrate how a chemical can be safely used with minimal risk to human health or the environment, will be replaced with a UK version in a no deal scenario.
Under the new requirements:
- Businesses that manufacture a chemical would need to validate their existing REACH registration within 60 days of the UK leaving the EU
- Businesses that import a chemical substance from the EU, such as those in the automotive, cosmetics, construction and cleaning products sectors, would need to notify HSE within 180 days of UK leaving the EU
- Businesses that export chemicals to the EU would still need to have an EU REACH registration in place.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:
“It is not just chemicals producers that could be affected by this change so I encourage all businesses that use chemicals to read the guidance on the HSE website and check whether they need to take action.”
In particular, businesses need to identify each chemical and the quantity they use, understand how to register that chemical and prepare the information for registration.