Brexit, the UK’s long-delayed departure from the European Union (EU), is expected to result in significant impacts to Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation reporting. The full scope of these impacts will be determined by whether or not the UK and the EU can reach an agreement regarding the nature of Brexit.

A no-deal Brexit scenario, in which the UK immediately leaves the EU’s single market and customs union, would mean that UK and EU regulatory agencies would operate independently from one another. The European Commission has released the Brexit Preparedness Checklist for companies doing business within the EU that provides additional information on what to expect post-Brexit.

The UK’s chemicals industry has a reputation for lobbying against the inclusion of new Substances of Very High Concern (SVHCs), as industry members have frequently pushed for vetoes against new substance restrictions. Now that the UK is leaving the EU, however, it is likely that the number of SVHCs will increase dramatically as the primary lobbying group will no longer be an EU member.

The UK is creating its own version of the REACH Regulation in anticipation of a no-deal outcome. The UK’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals Statutory Instrument (REACH SI) is set to take effect on day one of Brexit. This would effectively double the amount of work for companies doing business in the EU and the UK, as they would need to manage two silos of supply chain data for compliance with EU REACH and UK REACH regulations

Are you ready for the changes coming to the REACH Regulation? Find out in our guide, REACH in 2020 & Beyond.

For companies operating in the EU and UK, the good news is that following Brexit, UK-based EU REACH registration holders will be able to extract their data from the EU system and register it in the UK system. The downside is that companies will need to manually extract this data from the European Chemical Agency (ECHA)’s REACH IT system before manually recording new entries (designated as grandfathered records) into the UK system. This process will need to be carried out for each ECHA REACH registration.

The current design of the UK system assumes alignment with ECHA’s Candidate List of Substances. At launch, it’s expected companies manufacturing or importing into the UK will need to register and notify within the UK REACH IT system. Selling products into both the UK and EU means that these tasks will have to be performed for both systems as separate records.

The UK REACH IT system’s initial scope allows:

  • Existing UK-held EU registrations to be imported, known as “grandfathering” registrations.
  • Downstream user to import notification submissions (DUINs).
  • New substance registration submissions.
  • New product and process-oriented research and development (PPORD) notification submissions.

The UK REACH IT system’s second phase of development (expected within 18 months of the substance registration submission) will focus on handling dossier submissions, which require a wide variety of technical data. To collect this data and report into the system, companies will either need a local employee based in the UK to handle obligations or an Only Representative based in the UK to perform the same tasks.

This will significantly increase the amount of reporting activities required to maintain compliance and market access to both the EU and UK.

Assent Compliance can help streamline your supply chain data management by managing REACH and SVHC data with a user-friendly interface, helping you maintain market access amid changing regulations. Contact us today to learn more.

Dr. Raj Takhar
Regulatory & Sustainability Expert, Product Sustainability

Raj helps companies meet their product compliance challenges in an ever-changing regulatory landscape. He specializes in product compliance, chemical reporting, and program implementation in Europe.

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