The Chemical Business Association (CBA) has welcomed the outcome of a consultation on whether to extend the transitional registration deadlines for UK REACH.

The CBA, which represents the UK chemical supply chain, has been instrumental in leading the discussions for the extensions, which follows on from a statement by Government in December 2021 that it would explore alternative arrangements for UK REACH registrations. At the same time, they advised their intention to consult separately on extending the deadlines, and which subsequent consultation by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), concluded on 1 September 2022.

Together with stakeholders and other Associations, the CBA has been working tirelessly to make the Government aware of the impact of UK REACH, not only on the chemical industry supply chain and the wider chemical sector, but also on downstream users who were previously not in scope of the regulation.

As part of its efforts, it has been providing expert advice and input to various working groups, while supporting members with online consultations and a one-to-one advice service through its Helpdesk. In addition, the association hosted several oversubscribed UK REACH Online Clinics which, due to the importance of the issue for the industry, were open to members and non-members alike.

Feedback from the Clinics, which outlined the proposed timeline options, highlighted an overwhelming response in favour of Option 1, which would see the extension of submission deadlines for each tonnage band by three years to October 2026, October 2028, and October 2030, respectively.

Tim Doggett, CEO of the CBA, said: “The CBA has been working incessantly with the Government to highlight the impact of UK REACH and its implications. We are delighted it committed to exploring an alternative model and to extend the deadlines, of which this is a first encouraging step.

“We remain committed to finding a practical, workable, and affordable solution for everyone, and this extension provides us with an opportunity to pursue suitable options.”

According to DEFRA, ‘The extra time Option 1 provides could lessen burdens on SMEs and downstream users without significantly reducing levels of protection of human health and of the environment’.

Legislation will now be presented to extend the registration deadlines of each tonnage band by three years.