UK DHSC confirm intent to revoke Annex VIII of GB CLP

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) have announced their intention to revoke Annex VIII to GB CLP using the powers granted under the Retained EU Law (REUL) Bill, following a conclusion that the costs to industry will outweigh the benefits, which are said to be “negligible” in comparison to the existing system of voluntary submissions of SDS.

 Following the unintended retention of Annex VIII of CLP post-Brexit, and the announcement of this in February 2022, GB industry has been in a limbo state whilst awaiting further decision on this matter, so the statement from DHSC on a clear path forward has been welcomed by many industry representatives.

DHSC confirm that it is their intent to revoke by the end of 2023 and continue their message that “HSE will continue to maintain a pragmatic and proportionate response” to enforcement. The full wording of the statement, sent to stakeholders, is below:

 “I emailed you in June last year to inform you that Annex VIII of the EU’s Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures (CLP) Regulations had been inadvertently retained in GB CLP following EU Exit. Since then, we have been working closely with our government partners to rectify this error.

 Our original intention was to launch a public consultation on whether to revoke Annex VIII in GB CLP. However, having considered the issue in more detail, it has become clear that the costs to industry of implementing the mandatory reporting mechanism (as required under the Annex) outweigh the negligible public health benefits of a new system compared to the existing voluntary reporting approach.

 We therefore plan to revoke Annex VIII within GB CLP by the end of 2023 using powers within the Retained EU Law Bill. An announcement on all revocations of EU law under this Bill was made yesterday and we opted for this legislative option as it is the most efficient and timely route for the revocation of the Annex. The Department for Health and Social Care will provide a further update once the revocation process is complete.

 In the interim, and until Annex VIII within GB CLP is revoked, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – as one of the key bodies responsible for enforcing the GB CLP Regulation – will continue to maintain a pragmatic and proportionate response to enforcement focused on those activities which give rise to the most serious risks or where the hazards are least well controlled. Inspectors and enforcement officers will look at each case on its own merit and will always consider the individual circumstances and a range of factors when they take enforcement decisions, including:

  • the level of risk;
  • the duty holders’ understanding, behaviour and efforts made to achieve or to come into compliance; and
  • the unique circumstances surrounding the inadvertent retention of Annex VIII in the retained GB CLP Regulation following EU Exit.

 Any action taken will be fully in line with the principles in the HSE’s Enforcement Policy Statement and Enforcement Management Model.

 Please note that the above revocation only applies to GB. For Northern Ireland-based importers and downstream users placing hazardous mixtures on the NI (and EU) market, the situation will remain unchanged and Annex VIII continues to apply, so this guidance on GOV.UK is still accurate.”


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