What you need to know - Practical considerations to maintain trade post Brexit

Due to the highly interconnected nature of chemicals supply chains, Brexit will have important implications in the area of chemicals regulations for companies both in the UK and in the EU27/EEA countries. As the EU/UK transition period comes to an end, REACH will stop applying to the UK on 1 January 2021 at 0h CET, 31 December 2020 23h UK time. Through the EU (Withdrawal) Act, the UK Government will convert REACH into UK law at the end of the transition. This approach means that similar regulatory requirements to manufacture and import chemical products in the UK will apply once the transition period ends and beyond. Registration, evaluation, authorisation and restrictions will remain key elements of the UK-REACH scheme. For the time being and whilst EU-REACH continues to apply, UK businesses are considered “EU legal entities” under EU regulation.

This briefing note is aimed at supporting business across Europe in preparing for the potential effects Brexit may have on compliance with either chemical law. The advice provided in this document is based on the assumption that the UK would be leaving EU-REACH at the end of the transition period with no agreement in place on future EU/UK cooperation on chemicals. If this scenario materialises, as industry bodies we will continue to engage with authorities both in the UK and in the EU27/EEA with the aim to ensure the challenges companies both in the EU27/EEA and in the UK will face to maintain REACH compliance are minimised.

Note: This document addresses the impact of Brexit on REACH registration compliance as “licence” to operate in the single market. Similar considerations should be made on other aspects of REACH compliance as well as for other chemicals regulations such as CLP, BPR and PIC. From a trade perspective, impact on potential tariffs, IPR (Trademarks), Rules of Origin, Incoterms, VAT systems migration should also be taken into account as part of companies’ strategies and planning for the future UK/EU relationship. Please also note that the document doesn’t yet address any potential negotiated outcome with the EU or take yet into account the future implementation of the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol. This document is for general guidance only and cannot serve as substitute for legal advice.


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