As Brexit talks between the UK and EU continue — with the main sticking point in getting a deal through UK Parliament being the Irish backstop — the European chemical industry has united in calling for both sides of the Brexit negotiations to secure an agreement.

In a joint statement, the Director General of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) Marco Mensink and the Chief Executive of the Chemical Industries Association Steve Elliott said “What our industry and the whole economy needs is an agreed Brexit deal. We hope these talks on Thursday 7 February can secure that outcome. Businesses are increasingly preparing for a no-deal outcome with all the implications that it has, for not just the UK, but for Europe as a whole. The deadline is fast approaching. We hope the negotiators put the finishing touches to an agreement that commands support from within the UK and across Europe.”

A no-deal scenario would have huge implications for UK businesses that are producing, registering, importing or exporting chemicals.

  • It would mean that companies registered with REACH would no longer be able to sell into the European Economic Area (EEA) market without transferring their registrations to an EEA-based organisation. Companies would therefore need to take action to preserve their EEA market access.

  • UK downstream users currently importing chemicals from an EEA country would face new registration requirements. Under the UK’s replacement for REACH, importers would have a duty to register chemicals. Similarly, UK downstream users of authorisations would no longer be able to rely on authorisation decisions addressed to companies in the remaining EEA countries.

The latest official guidance on requirements for using chemicals after the UK leaves the EU is available at

Last reviewed 11 February 2019