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The UKs withdrawal from the EU


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.

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