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REACH stands for the Regulation for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. The REACH Regulation entered into force on 1 June 2007 to streamline and improve the former legislative framework for chemicals of the European Union (EU). REACH also created the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) which has a central co-ordination and implementation role in the overall process. ECHA is located in Helsinki, Finland and manages the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction processes for chemical substances to ensure consistency across the countries in which REACH applies.
The following sources of information about REACH are available:
- The REACH Regulation and other related pieces of legislation published in the Official Journal of the European Union; links to these texts can be found in the section on Regulations of the ECHA website: http://echa.europa.eu/regulations
- The "Understanding REACH" section of the ECHA website provides concise and basic information on REACH: http://echa.europa.eu/regulations/reach/understanding-reach
- The REACH guidance documents provide explanatory and supplementary information to the legal text. They are the result of both consultation of relevant stakeholders and close co-operation between the National Competent Authorities and the European Commission. Final guidance documents and draft versions in the process of being updated as well as fact sheets and formats are available on the ECHA website on Guidance on REACH and CLP implementation http://echa.europa.eu/support/guidance-on-reach-and-clp-implementation
- The Navigator will help you to identify your specific obligations under REACH. You can find a link to the Navigator on the ECHA website. Please follow the link below and choose under title "Use the Navigator" the link "Start a new Navigator session": http://echa.europa.eu/support/guidance-on-reach-and-clp-implementation/identify-your-obligations
If your business of putting chemical substances, biocidal products or active substances on the market is limited to the territory of the United Kingdom alone, as from the date of the United Kingdom’s withdrawal, your activity will no longer be subject to the provisions of the EU chemicals legislation. With regard to obligations arising from the CLP, BPR, PIC, and REACH Regulations, your legal obligations towards ECHA as the EU’s respective regulatory Agency will also cease. Instead, it will be the UK legislation that applies to you.
You will therefore need to follow the legislative developments in the UK. You are also advised to follow the UK withdrawal negotiations with the EU which may determine your future obligations.
If your business is in any way part of a supply chain that links you to businesses located within the 27 EU Member States remaining after the UK’s withdrawal, you will face some fundamental changes. You will find more detailed advice under the respective headings of these Q&A pages.
Yes. With its withdrawal from the EU, the United Kingdom will become a so-called “third country”. The ECHA Helpdesk regularly replies to enquiries from companies based outside the EU/EEA. After the UK withdrawal, UK-based companies should address ECHA via the dedicated contact form.
As from the date of withdrawal, the UK will no longer have the obligation to maintain a national helpdesk to provide advice and assistance on matters governed by the EU’s CLP, BPR or REACH Regulations. You are advised to check with the UK authorities if they will nonetheless provide such advice in practice. You may also wish to address your industry association in the UK
Until the date of the withdrawal of the UK, the UK remains an EU Member State in which the provisions of the REACH Regulation fully apply. You will therefore have to register your substance for the 2018 REACH registration deadline. Moreover, your registration obligations will continue until the date of the UK withdrawal. Even beyond that date, it will be advisable for you to follow the legislative development in the UK with regard to domestic registration obligations.