The UK Government has issued guidance to businesses that use chemicals on the actions they should take now to minimise any disruption in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal, UK businesses that manufacture or import chemicals from the EU will have to register those chemicals to a new UK regulatory system.
UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) will replace EU REACH and will require businesses to demonstrate how a chemical can be safely used with minimal risk to human health or the environment.
The chemicals sector is the UK’s second biggest manufacturing industry and UK businesses currently hold over 12,000 registrations with REACH.
A ‘no deal’ would mean that a range of other key sectors would also be required to register any imported chemicals they use on UK REACH. This would include the motor manufacturing, cosmetics, construction and cleaning products industries.
Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:
“Delivering a negotiated deal with the EU remains the Government’s top priority, but it is the job of a responsible Government to ensure we are prepared for all scenarios, including no deal.
“It is not just chemicals producers that could be affected by this change so I encourage all businesses that use chemicals to read the guidance on the HSE website and check whether they need to take action.”
Under the new requirements, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal:
In addition, more technical information will need to be submitted by businesses to HSE within two years of EU Exit. The requirements are part of the Government’s commitment to maintain environmental standards after we leave the EU.
In order to register on UK REACH in a no deal scenario, businesses need to take the following action: