September 24, 2020

ECHA to Chemical Companies: Prepare for End of Brexit Transition Period

The European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, reminds companies that the transition period for Brexit, the United Kingdom’s formal withdrawal from the European Union (EU), is set to end on Dec. 31, 2020. The agency urges companies to check to see whether they are affected by the withdrawal. Companies established in the EU/European Economic Area (EEA) will be affected whenever their supply chains as a customer or supplier extend to the U.K. According to ECHA, businesses that remain connected in any way to the remaining EU member states or EEA countries must prepare for changes.

After the transition period, EU chemicals legislation will no longer apply to companies established in the U.K. as long as their chemical substances and other products are placed on the market only in the U.K. or if they export certain chemicals directly from the U.K. to non-EU/EEA countries. EU chemicals legislation includes the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation, which requires companies to identify and manage the risks linked to the substances they manufacture and market in the EU; the EU regulation on the classification, labelling, and packaging of substances and mixtures, or CLP; the Biocidal Products Regulation, or BPR; and PIC, the EU regulation concerning the export and import of hazardous chemicals.

ECHA also encourages downstream users of authorized substances in the EU/EEA to check the list of substances registered only by U.K. companies (.XLSX file ) to see if they will be affected. According to the agency, REACH authorizations granted to U.K. suppliers will no longer exist after the transition period. Downstream users who rely on these authorizations and want to continue using certain substances should take action before the end of the transition period. ECHA’s website explains the options available for downstream users of such substances.

Instructions and resources published on ECHA’s website are intended to help chemical companies based in Europe prepare for the U.K.’s withdrawal from the EU. The agency has also published a list of questions and answers for companies.