European and UK chemical industry associations have made a joint statement on a Brexit preparedness communication issued by the European Commission.

The European Commission’s communication states that “It remains the case that unless medicinal products, medical devices and chemical substances are brought into compliance with EU rules, they cannot be placed on the EU market after that date.”

It adds that by mid-August 2019, only 52% of concerned REACH registrants had transferred their registrations to the EU27. The European Chemicals Agency opened a “Brexit window” in REACH-IT allowing registrants to take the necessary steps to transfer their REACH registration ahead of the withdrawal date. The communication makes it clear that the Brexit window will remain open until 31 October 2019.

As regards REACH authorisations, UK authorisation holders, UK applicants for authorisation and UK downstream users that supply substances or mixtures in the EU27 as part of existing supply chains are urged to take the necessary steps to ensure regulatory compliance for their EU27 downstream users. In turn, EU27 downstream users of UK registrants, UK authorisation holders, UK applicants for authorisations and UK downstream users are advised to verify with their suppliers that the relevant products will be in regulatory compliance by 31 October 2019 and take measures of their own as appropriate, making use of available guidance.

The joint statement by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA) states: “As we approach the date when the UK is scheduled to leave the European Union, 48% of UK companies have not yet transferred their registrations under REACH to EU-based entities. Whilst the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) advice is for companies to “initiate” transfers before exit day, this situation does mean that over 700 chemical substances risk not being available on the EU market after 31 October, in case of a no deal Brexit.

“Working together, Cefic and the CIA continue to advise and encourage businesses on preparing for Brexit, including a potential no deal outcome. This includes the provision of detailed guidance on REACH. We know that many companies have made preparations for a potential transfer but are waiting for more certainty regarding Brexit. In the meantime, effective communication throughout chemical supply chains remains crucial to ensure that downstream users are fully informed about the availability of their raw materials after Brexit.”

Last reviewed 10 September 2019