Navigating UK REACH Regulations

Navigating UK REACH Regulations

3 min readPublished On: October 16th, 2023By
3 min readPublished On: October 16th, 2023By
UK REACH Regulations

The United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union has created a new landscape for regulations in the chemical industry. Under the UK’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals) framework, chemical manufacturers and importers in the UK must now undergo a dual registration requirement. Overseen by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), this process hinges on providing critical information related to the hazards, uses, and exposure associated with each chemical.

Temporary Rules and Compliance Dates

To facilitate a smooth transition, temporary rules have been put in place, allowing companies to demonstrate their compliance with the previous EU REACH regulations post-Brexit. However, these companies will ultimately need to provide comprehensive registration data to comply with the new UK REACH framework. The specific deadlines for these registrations, which vary based on the volume and hazard profile of the substances, have been set for 2023, 2025, and 2027.

Navigating the Challenges and Solutions in the UK

One of the primary hurdles facing UK chemical manufacturers is the unfamiliarity of the new registration process in contrast to the well-established EU REACH system. UK chemical manufacturers need to register not only with the EU REACH but also UK REACH, the dual registration requirement adds complexity to compliance. There’s growing concern within the industry that stringent UK REACH requirements could render certain chemicals commercially unviable, potentially leading to their disappearance from the market.

Simplifying Information Collection

Given the limitations imposed by Brexit negotiations, UK regulators are exploring the use of publicly available information, including data submitted under the EU REACH framework. The focus is on prioritising chemicals of significant relevance to the UK. However, the absence of a data-sharing agreement with the European Chemical Agency’s (ECHA) database necessitates the creation of a separate UK database. Notably, a significant portion of the costs associated with UK REACH stems from UK companies purchasing access to existing data.

Meeting the Deadline

The proposed deadline for completing the UK REACH system by October 2023 is facing significant challenges and may not be met. This delay is a matter of concern for the industry, particularly because, in 2022, 42% of UK chemical exports were directed toward the EU and thus subject to EU regulations. Businesses that export and import products to and from both the UK and the EU must now navigate dual regulatory regimes.

Streamlining Registration

In response to the complexities of UK REACH, the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) is actively exploring an alternative registration model. Drawing inspiration from Switzerland’s approach, this alternative model would not require the full registration of data for chemicals already registered under the EU REACH system. Instead, it would align with EU risk management decisions by default. This approach promises cost savings, streamlined processes, and a reduced risk of chemical discrepancies between the UK and EU markets.

Maintaining Regulatory Standards

The overarching goal is to maintain existing regulatory standards while ensuring coherence in trading chemical products between different regions. Navigating post-Brexit regulations may be challenging, but by addressing these issues effectively, the UK chemical industry can continue to thrive in the evolving landscape of chemical regulation.

BioCote® stands at an advantageous position within the shift in these regulations as our additives are currently exempt from REACH registration for biocidal application, which means they are readily available for integration. Additionally, our expertise on the process and transitional rules allows us to guide our clients through the complexities of dual registration.

“At BioCote®, we are committed to accuracy and perfection in chemical regulations . We understand the critical role that compliance plays in product development and creation. That’s why we are dedicated to staying up-to-date with regulations not only in the UK but worldwide.” – Dr. Conner Hodgkiss, BioCote®

Evolving EU Biocidal Products Regulation: Updates on Silver Zinc Zeolite

At the recent 50th Biocidal Products Committee (BPC-50) meeting held in February 2024, Silver Zinc Zeolite received positive support for approval as an active substance under multiple Product-types (PTs), including disinfectants (PT2), film preservatives (PT7), and fibre, leather, rubber, and polymerised materials preservatives (PT9. This endorsement signifies a crucial step towards regulatory acceptance.