Q&As

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The UKs withdrawal from the EU

REACH

My company is a manufacturer of a substance, located outside the EU / EEA. We have appointed an Only Representative, who is located in the UK. What do we need to do in preparation of the UK withdrawal from the EU?

You can appoint a new Only Representative, located within the EU-27/EEA. This requires that the old and the new Only Representatives collaborate in making a ‘legal entity change’ in REACH-IT. The new appointment must take place ahead of the UK withdrawal and be notified to ECHA (through the ‘Legal entity change’ functionality in REACH-IT) without undue delay.

My company is a manufacturer of a substance, located outside the EU/EEA. We place the substance on the EU/EEA market through a UK-based importer. What do we need to do in preparation for the UK withdrawal from the EU?

If your substance has been registered by the UK-based importer, its registration will no longer be valid after the UK withdrawal. This means that the imported substance will need to be registered by an EU-27/EEA-based legal entity:

  • You can appoint an Only Representative located within the EU-27/EEA to carry out the required registration of the imported substance.
  • The substance can also be registered directly by its EU-27/EEA-based importer(s).
My EU-27-based company purchases a mixture from a UK-based company. Under the REACH and CLP Regulations, what impact will the UK withdrawal from the EU have on these supplies?

Once the UK withdrawal from the EU takes effect, your supplier will no longer qualify as an EU company. Therefore, you will need to ask your UK-based supplier if they will appoint an Only Representative to cover the necessary REACH registrations for the component substances of the mixture. If not, you will need to submit the relevant registrations as an importer yourself to be legally on the EU internal market.

Under CLP, you will now be the importer and thus will have the obligation to ensure that the imported mixture is correctly classified, labelled and packaged. You may also have the notification obligation to the Classification and Labelling Inventory.

My UK-based company is an importer of chemical substances. We would like to keep supplying our customers in the EU-27 / EEA following the UK withdrawal from the EU. What are our options?

As a UK-based importer, following the UK withdrawal from the EU you will not have registration obligations under REACH, as only EU / EEA-based manufacturers and importers are required to register their substances under REACH. However, you may consider transferring your registration to an EU-27 / EEA-based legal entity, if this transfer is the result of a legal entity change, i.e. the importing business is transferred to a legal entity in the EU-27 /EEA.

With regard to the timing of this transfer, it must take place ahead of the UK withdrawal and be notified to ECHA (through the ‘Legal entity change’ functionality in REACH-IT) without undue delay. Following the transfer, the UK-based legal entity is not allowed to benefit from the registration any longer (i.e., they must cease their importing activities). After the UK withdrawal from the EU, when UK companies will no longer be bound by the REACH Regulation, import may restart in the UK, subject to relevant UK law.

If you also act as a formulator (i.e., you import a substance from a third country to the UK, and include the substance in a mixture that you export to the EU-27 / EEA), you can appoint an Only Representative (OR) for the quantities of the substance that you formulate into a mixture that you export to the EU-27/EEA. For further information, please refer to Q&A 1464.

Alternatively, your EU-27 / EEA based customers can register the substance(s) individually as importers and continue sourcing from you.

My company is a UK-based manufacturer of chemical substances. I would like to keep on supplying my customers in the EU-27 / EEA following the UK withdrawal from the EU. What are my options?

As a UK-based manufacturer, following the UK withdrawal from the EU you will be regarded as a non-EU manufacturer. Only manufacturers and importers based in the EU / EEA have registration obligations. However, if you wish to continue supplying to your EU-27 / EEA-based customers, you may consider one of the following options:

  • Like any EEA-based legal entity, you can transfer your existing registration to an EU-27 / EEA legal entity, which maintains the manufacturing role if this transfer is the result of a legal entity change, i.e. it must fall into one of the following scenarios:
    • The UK-based manufacturer goes through an acquisition or relocation to the EU-27 / EEA.
    • Intragroup transfer of the whole operations / manufacturing activity (e.g. transfer of the activity from a UK-based mother company to an EU-27 / EEA-based daughter company).
    With regard to the timing of such a transfer, it must take place ahead of the UK withdrawal date and be notified to ECHA (through the ‘Legal entity change’ functionality in REACH-IT) without undue delay. Under both scenarios, following the transfer, the UK legal entity is not allowed to benefit from the registration any longer (i.e., they must cease manufacturing activities). After the UK withdrawal takes effect, when UK-based companies will no longer be bound by the REACH Regulation, manufacturing may restart in the UK, subject to relevant UK law.
  • You can appoint an Only Representative (OR) within the EU-27 / EEA. For further details (particularly with regard to the timing), please refer to Q&A 1464.
  • Alternatively, your EU-27 / EEA-based customers can continue sourcing from you by registering the substance(s) themselves, as importers.

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