Q&As

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The UKs withdrawal from the EU

REACH

Do United Kingdom-based companies need to submit an authorisation application for an Annex XIV substance they use or place on the market for a use?

No. Since 1 February 2020, the United Kingdom has withdrawn from the EU and the transition period ended on 31 December 2020. REACH no longer applies to the United Kingdom and therefore United Kingdom-based companies are no longer bound by the authorisation obligations, except for Northern Ireland (see Q&A 1371). Such companies that use an Annex XIV substance or place it on the United Kingdom market for a use no longer need to apply for authorisation. If they place an Annex XIV substance for a use on the EU/EEA market they will need to rely on their EU/EEA importer or an OR to apply for authorisation for this use.

In Northern Ireland, REACH continues to apply. This means, inter alia, that companies based in Northern Ireland are still bound by the authorisation obligation and will need to apply for authorisation unless they are covered by an authorisation in their supply chain or unless an exemption applies. Please refer to Q&A 1700.

Do United Kingdom-based companies holding their own authorisation or relying on an authorisation granted to an upstream actor covering their use still need to adhere to the respective authorisation decision?

No. Following the end of the transition period of the United Kingdom withdrawal from the EU, REACH no longer applies to the United Kingdom and therefore United Kingdom-based companies are no longer bound by the authorisation obligations, except for Northern Ireland (see Q&A 1371). Any authorisations held by United Kingdom-based companies that had not been transferred by the end of the transition period of the UK withdrawal from the EU to EU/EEA-based legal entities ceased to be valid. 

In Northern Ireland, REACH continues to apply. This means, inter alia, that companies based in Northern Ireland are still bound by the authorisation obligations and any authorisations they hold or rely on need to be adhered to. Please refer to Q&A 1700.

Can EU/EEA-based downstream users still rely on an authorisation granted to a United Kingdom supplier covering their use?

No. Following the end of the transition period of the United Kingdom withdrawal from the EU, any authorisation held by a United Kingdom-based company that has not yet been transferred to an EU/EEA-based legal entity ceased to be valid. Therefore, EU/EEA downstream users wishing to continue their use of the Annex XIV substance will either need to find an alternative supplier based in the EU/EEA holding a valid authorisation covering their use or they may apply for authorisation themselves.

In Northern Ireland however, REACH continues to apply. This means, inter alia, that authorisations granted to companies based in Northern Ireland remain valid. Please refer to Q&A 1700 for further details.

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