Your Options for UK REACH Compliance

As a chemical importer into the United Kingdom, Brexit poses many challenges and uncertainties for your REACH obligations.

If a deal is struck between the UK and the European Union, EU REACH should continue in the UK with an implementation period of 6-24 months to UK REACH.

But if the hard-stop Brexit scenario does occur on October 31, 2019, or at a postponed later date, then considerable action must be taken by importers to meet the new UK REACH regulation.

To help prepare for this, let’s look at some items chemical and product manufacturers outside of the UK will need to consider before placing product onto the new UK market.

UK Legal Entities’ Options for Compliance

Once Brexit occurs existing UK registrants for EU REACH with REACH ORs outside of the UK must do the following:

  1. Open a UK REACH IT account.
  2. Enter basic information of your EU substance registration within 180 days of Brexit.
  3. Provide the technical dossier and submit to Health and Safety Executive for registration within two years of Brexit. This process will be deemed a new registration in the UK and subject to fees.

If your substance was originally EU REACH registered with a UK only representative, your registration will be “grandfathered” in. But first, you must transfer the registration into UK REACH by:

  1. Opening a UK REACH IT account.
  2. Entering some basic information of your EU substance registration within 120 days of Brexit.
  3. Providing the technical information of your substance (same as EU REACH for your tonnage band) within two years of Brexit.

For all other non-UK based manufacturers wanting to place chemicals on the UK market, you will have to set up a UK OR specifically. To establish an OR within the UK you can:

  1. Create an OR within your organization by first identifying a stable operational UK business entity.
  2. Next determine if there is enough technical expertise to maintain communications and compliance with the UK REACH legislation and process.
  3. Confirm you have executive backing to support the OR efforts. Make sure you are comfortable with the liability or consider getting legal opinion and approval from a UK attorney to proceed with establishing the office.
  4. If these cannot be guaranteed, then you may want to consider an outside OR provider such as Tetra Tech.

Once you have found the technical talent located within the UK to perform OR duties, you should begin to gather information on the substance that is required for the initial notification to UK REACH, such as:

  1. Manufacturer/importer identity.
  2. Substance identity.
  3. Information on the manufacture and use of the substance data.
  4. Indication as to which of the relevant information on the manufacture and use has been reviewed by an assessor.
  5. Confirm if you are meeting the 1 MT/year threshold, which exists specifically for the UK market. If not, then monitor imports by substance until they exceed 1 MT.

After the proper registration with the HSE is complete, maintenance of the information will be an ongoing requirement. Any changes in the hazard classifications, additional safety or use information will need to be included, just as it is for EU REACH. As of now HSE foresees staying in line with the EU REACH, however, the point of Brexit was so the UK could choose to make its own rules, so the outcome is uncertain.

Establish Your UK OR Today

Tetra Tech has years of experience as only representatives for REACH compliance and authorizations, representing North American-based exporters and operating out of Tetra Tech’s offices in the US and in Germany. We can help by:

  • Providing help in establishing OR (only representative) support to your chemicals business.
  • Auditing your supply chain to hold it accountable to UK REACH compliance.
  • Reviewing your reliance on authorized substances for compliance to allow your business to continue seamlessly.

To legally conduct business within the United Kingdom in a post-Brexit market, contact Tetra Tech’s UK REACH subject matter expert at [email protected] to learn more.

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