If your company is based in one of the remaining EU-27 or EEA countries, EU legislation and obligations will continue to apply to you. However, your business partners in the UK will need to adjust their operations to follow the new UK chemicals legislation.
If you purchased a chemical substance from a UK-based company that registered a substance under REACH, you will no longer be able to rely on the substance being legally registered after the UK has left the EU.
For the substance to remain legally registered, the UK-based manufacturer from which you bought the chemical will need to appoint an only representative established in one of the EU-27 or EEA countries. Alternatively, you can choose to register the substance yourself as an importer.
If your UK-based supplier is currently an importer of the chemical from outside the EU/EEA, they have the option of moving their importing activity to the EU-27 or EEA. Otherwise, you will need to register the substance as the EU-importer.
Joint registration with a UK-based company
Things will also change if your company is a member of a joint submission with a UK-based company as the lead registrant. A registration made by a UK-based company will no longer exist after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
If you plan to import substances from a UK-based company into the EU after the UK’s withdrawal, it is you, not the UK-based company, who will have to submit the C&L notifications to ECHA. A C&L notification must also be submitted for substances in mixtures, when the concentration of the substance triggers the classification of the mixture. A separate C&L notification is not needed when you have registered the substance. Any mixture that you import will need to comply with the CLP Regulation.
What about the PIC Regulation?
As an EU-27 company, you will need to start notifying exports to the UK of chemicals under the PIC Regulation. After the UK withdraws from the EU, UK companies on the other hand will no longer have obligations under the PIC Regulation. This also means that UK companies will no longer have to notify their exports through ePIC or have access to the application, and export notifications submitted by any UK-based company will be disabled.
Temporary solution for notifying exports to the UK
Under the PIC regulation, exporters are required to notify their exports of certain hazardous chemicals 35 days before the expected date of export. ECHA is re-activating its temporary procedure allowing EU-based companies to notify the planned export to the United Kingdom in advance of the withdrawal date. This is in order to cover exports taking place in the first 35 days from the withdrawal date if there is no withdrawal agreement. Companies who already submitted export notifications to the UK for exports in 2019 do not need to re-submit a new notification.
- Identify your key UK-based business partners.
- If you depend on a UK-based lead registrant, consider your options for continuing being part of the joint submission:
- The UK-based lead registrant moves to an EU-27 country or
- Make sure that the UK-based lead registrant transfers the role of the lead to an EU-based company. This needs to happen before the withdrawal takes effect and the registration ceases to exist.