In the event of a “no deal Brexit”, EU suppliers in the UK will become importers from a third country. There will also be a host of additional and/or duplicate requirements for businesses that trade in the UK and EU.
One such is that UK businesses that manufacture or import chemicals will have to register under UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). Businesses that have existing UK-held REACH registrations will benefit from grandfather rights. Others will need to submit downstream user import notifications and new substance registrations via a new UK IT system if they want to import chemicals directly from the European Economic Area.
Defra has published UK guidance. The European Chemicals Agency also has helpful information in relation to Brexit.
Companies based in the EEA will also need to prepare for placing substances on the UK market under UK law. The UK Health and Safety Executive has published guidance for them here.
The chemicals sector is the UK’s second biggest manufacturing industry, employing around 95,000 people in the UK and a further 175,000 in industries that rely on chemicals.