Last reviewed 30 October 2020

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has explained what businesses need to do to prepare for the end of the UK Brexit transition period, in terms of biocidal products and the classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) of chemicals.

Now that the UK has left the EU, the transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020.

The health and safety watchdog has explained how the regulation of chemicals will change from 1 January 2021.

As of 1 January 2021, Britain (ie England, Scotland and Wales) will put in place a regulatory framework for biocidal products. It will reflect the current EU framework, ie the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) (EU 528/2012), but they will operate independently of each other.

With the amended regulations, many of the functions currently carried out by the EU will be carried out in Great Britain. Certain EU functions have been removed such as union authorisations and mutual recognition as they will no longer operate in Britain. There is separate guidance for Northern Ireland-based businesses.

In terms of the requirements for chemicals classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) after the transition period (ie from 1 January 2021) the EU CLP Regulation (EC 1272/2008) will be replaced in Great Britain by retained EU law in the form of the Great Britain CLP Regulation.

Therefore, businesses based in Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) that place chemicals (substances and mixtures) on the British market will have to comply with the British CLP Regulation.

However, from 1 January 2021, Britain will make its own decisions about mandatory hazard classification and labelling. Great Britain mandatory classification and labelling (GB MCL) replaces the EU harmonised classification and labelling system in Great Britain.

Again, there is separate guidance on classification, labelling and packaging requirements for Northern Ireland-based businesses.

More detailed information on the biocides and CLP requirements for Britain and Northern Ireland can be accessed via the HSE website.