Published: 25 February, 2019
The UK’s withdrawal from the EU takes effect on 29 March 2019 at 11pm UK time. Should the draft Withdrawal Agreement that the EU and the UK Government agreed upon be ratified by both sides, a transition period until 31 December 2020 would apply. However this is not certain at this stage, therefore appropriate preparatory steps to mitigate the risks for businesses are required
Whether you are a manufacturer, formulator, importer or Only Representative of a non-EU supplier of chemicals, the withdrawal of the UK from the EU will affect your business, which requires timely preparations. From information released by ECHA, after the Withdrawal UK based companies will no longer have registrant’s rights and obligations under the EU’s REACH Regulation nor access to transfer REACH registrations and notifications in the held in the REACH-IT system.
Understand the implications on your business
ECHA has provided key guidance on what preparations you should put in place ahead of the UK’s withdrawal, dependant on your roles in the supply chain and activities
In order for you to continue supplying a substance to the EU/European Economic Area (EEA) market, you have several options. First, you can appoint an Only Representative in the EU-27/EEA to fulfil the obligations of your EU-27/EEA importers. Second, you can relocate your operations (e.g. via an intragroup transfer) to one of the remaining 27 EU member states or to one of the three countries of the EEA. Third, your importers in the EU-27/EEA can take over your duties, if they decide to do so, and submit their own registrations covering the import of your chemicals.
UK based importer of chemicals or formulator
You may consider relocating your importing operations to the EU-27/EEA. If you also formulate mixtures which are subsequently sold to EU-27/EEA customers, you also have the option to appoint an Only Representative.
UK based Only Representative
You will no longer be able to continue this activity in the UK. A UK based OR will need to transfer any existing REACH Registrations to an EU-27/EEA-based OR. You are therefore advised to inform your business partners outside the EU without delay, to take the necessary actions. You may also decide to relocate your business in the EU-27/EEA.
As a Lead Registrant you are advised to get in contact with your member registrants in the EU-27/EEA to organise the transfer of the lead role.
Supplier of certain hazardous chemicals
If you supply to customers in the EU-27/EEA, you will need to notify such exports beyond 29 March 2019 in accordance with the UN Rotterdam Convention (EU’s PIC Regulation).
In the event of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, a new UK-REACH Regulation will come in to force on exit day. This new Statutory Instrument will place obligations on UK manufacturers, importers and downstream users. UK companies will be able to ‘grandfather’ their existing EU-REACH Registrations in to the UK system. Non-UK suppliers will have the option to appoint a UK based Only Representative to maintain access to the UK market, or rely on their UK customers to register.
Yordas Group can offer Only Representative services for EU-REACH and UK-REACH via our offices in Germany and UK. If you have any concerns, require further clarification, or wish to discuss potential implications for your organisation, please get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.