The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is considering a proposed solution put forward by the Chemical Business Association (CBA) for a workable UK REACH post-Brexit that solves the crucial issue of access to testing data. It would also ensure that UK companies have continued frictionless access to the EU market as well as EU companies enjoying a similar level of access to the UK market.

In terms of chemical use in the UK, the Government is preparing to ensure that registrations for the UK market remain valid. However, if, in the long run, the Government accepts EU registrations without being able to see all the data, it could leave the UK open to legal challenges from companies wanting to use dangerous substances for which the Government would not have full information to justify restrictions. If, instead, it requires chemical users to register substances in the UK with equivalent levels of information to REACH, it could be a massive financial and bureaucratic burden for UK companies.

The plan under consideration is for European Substance Information Exchange Forums (SIEFs), that currently hold the majority of chemical test data supporting EU REACH registrations, being allowed without charge to the registrant to submit a full registration dossier to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This would apply equally to lead registrants and SIEFs whether they are based in the EU or the UK.

Essentially, SIEF participants in the UK holding valid EU REACH registrations would be able to negotiate an extension to their current “Letter of Access” to cover the UK regime.

New UK REACH registrants would notify the HSE and be directed to the European SIEF to obtain access to the data package in the same way as EU REACH currently operates. If a European SIEF is elected to perform new tests or gather further data, they would then update both the European Chemical Agency under EU REACH and the HSE under UK REACH, thus ensuring future consistency.

Last reviewed 4 July 2019