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Brexit “window” granted time for REACH alterations

April 2, 2019

Among the many considerations UK businesses have had to make regarding Brexit, particularly in the case of “No Deal”, were changes allowing legal registration of chemicals for EU export under REACH.

As CMS Law-Now reports, if the UK withdraws from the EU without a deal, “significant changes” will ensue under the REACH; Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP); Prior Informed Consent (PIC); and Biocidal Products (BPR) regulations.

In order to maintain substances registered under REACH on the EU-27/EEA market legally in the event of a “hard Brexit”, UK manufacturers and formulators “can either transfer their business to an entity in, or appoint an Only Representative in, one of the EU-27/EEA countries”, or the EU-27/EEA importer must “submit registrations.”

To allow UK companies time to make changes, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) granted a “Brexit window” from 12-29 March; if no EU-27 Only Representative was appointed during that window, it will then fall to the EU-27/EEA importer to produce their own registrations.

“If a downstream user in one of the EU-27/EEA countries relies on REACH authorisations granted to a UK-based company, they need to make sure that there is another EU-27/EEA supplier with a valid authorisation for their use,” explains CMS Law-Now.

In addition, “Under the BPR, substance or product suppliers of biocides have to either be located in the EU or have an appointed EU-based representative to be listed in the Article 95 list of substances and suppliers. Non-EU companies are included together with their appointed EU representatives. UK-based suppliers will need to appoint an EU-27 based representative ahead of the UK’s withdrawal to avoid being removed from the Article 95 list. Non-EU companies listed under Article 95 of the BPR and with an EU representative located in the UK will also need to appoint a new representative within the EU-27.”

CMS concludes, “EU-27 companies will also need to notify their exports of hazardous substances regulated under the PIC Regulation when exporting to the UK. The export notification needs to be submitted 35 days before the export. ECHA has published a manual export notification form that will allow exporters based in the EU-27 to notify their planned exports to the UK before the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. These export notifications will take effect if the UK is, as of the withdrawal date, a third country without a withdrawal agreement entering into force. This is a temporary procedure that will allow EU-27 companies that are exporting chemicals subject to the PIC Regulation to the UK right after withdrawal to comply with their obligations to notify their exports 35 days before the expected date of import.”

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