Brexit has Consequences for Trade of Chemicals

With the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU and the end of the transition period on 31st December 2020, the validity of EU Regulation No. 1907/2006 (“REACH”) in Great Britain will also end. Then a corresponding British law comes into force (“UK-REACH”). Companies that trade in chemicals across borders should quickly adapt to the new rules.

The British government has issued the “REACH etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019” (UK-REACH), which is to come into force on 1st January 2021. It is largely congruent with EU REACH (EU Regulation No. 1907/2006) but limited to Great Britain. EU REACH registrations are no longer valid in the UK. However, in Northern Ireland EU regulations and EU REACH continue to apply.

On the one hand, this affects companies in Great Britain that are cut off from their EU supply chain and no longer have an EU REACH registration for export to the EU. On the other hand, companies in the EU are affected and no longer have direct access to the UK market or are cut off from their UK suppliers. The UK REACH contains two regulations for British companies:

  • Manufacturers who have their own EU REACH registration are allocated a UK-REACH registration via the so-called “grandfathering”, they must submit a basic registration before the 30th April2021.
  • Downstream users who purchase their products from the EU can receive transition periods of 2-6 years via a “DUIN” notification before they have to submit a UK REACH registration; the DUIN must be made before the 27th October 2021.

In both cases, the company will have to submit a complete registration dossier before the end of the transition period. The length of the transition period (2, 4 or 6 years) depends on the annual volume of the substance and the hazard properties.

There are no regulations in UK REACH for EU companies that want to continue to supply the UK market. They have the option of engaging a British Only Representative who takes care of the DUIN notification for the recipient and thus protects existing supply relationships. In this way, the supplier does not have to disclose the composition of his products to his customers. However, the acquisition of new customers is only possible after a full UK REACH registration has been completed.

DEKRA has over 30 years of experience with chemical legislation consulting and has chemical laboratories in the UK, Germany and China. We will be supporting companies with the new requirements of grandfathering and DUIN notification, e.g. as a consultant.  EU suppliers can also appoint DEKRA UK as their Only Representative and thus secure their existing supply relationships. DEKRA is a founding member of the Association of Only Representatives (ORO) and has been supporting companies in many parts of the world with their REACH obligations since 2010.

About DEKRA Organisational & Process Safety

DEKRA Organisational and Process Safety is a behavioural change and process safety consultancy company. Working in collaboration with our clients, our approach is to assess the process safety and influence the safety culture with the aim of ‘making a difference´. Our value-adding and practical approach integrates specialist process safety management, engineering and testing. We seek to educate and grow client competence to vide sustainable performance improvement; partnering with our clients we combine technical expertise with a passion for life preservation, harm reduction and asset protection. We are part of DEKRA SE, a global leader in safety since 1925 with over 45,000 employees in 60 countries and five continents. As a part of the world’s leading expert organisation DEKRA, we are the global partner for a safe world.  We have offices throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.