UK – Brexit and Chemicals Regulation: UK Government Sets Out Plans for a UK-Reach in The Event of a Hard-Brexit

Further to our previous alert (found here), which outlined the EU and the UK Government’s general position on product regulation post-Brexit, on 24 September 2018 the UK Government released its latest Technical Notice, specifically addressing the way it envisages regulating of chemicals in the event the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without agreeing on an exit deal i.e. a « hard-Brexit. »

The Technical Notice does not provide much in the way of detail but it is clear that (i) there will be a new UK-REACH regulatory regime, which will require that chemicals sold into or manufactured in the UK are registered in addition to any registrations required under the EU REACH regime, and (ii) there will be a transitional period for compliance with the new UK-REACH regime.

More specifically, the Technical Notice foresees that, in order to maintain access to the EEA market, a company established in the UK with registrations under REACH will need to either:

  • transfer the REACH registrations to other entities in its corporate structure that are based within the EEA;
  • transfer the REACH registrations to a separate entity based in the EEA that will hold the registration on its behalf i.e. an only representative; or
  • ensure the REACH registrations are held by those customers in the EEA to whom it sells.

Where the company manufactures the chemicals in the UK or imports them from the EEA, it will also need to register them under the UK-REACH regime in addition to any EU-REACH registrations…