From 1 January 2021, the rules on using, making and trading chemicals in the UK are set to transform. And the coming changes could bring brand new legal duties to you and your business…

Here’s what you need to do to meet the new laws and keep your company safe post-Brexit.

1. Review present REACH rules

Remember, REACH is the main regulation of hazardous substances in the EU.

It stands for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & restriction of CHemicals and applies to all EU members, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

REACH aims to protect human health and the environment. It gives chemical producers, importers and users the responsibility to make sure that their products are used safely.

The aims of REACH include the “no data, no market” principle, which means that substances must be registered before they can be sold. Other principles include:

  • The “last resort” principle on animal testing
  • Access to information for workers
  • The precautionary principle

(To learn more about what REACH principles mean for your business, book your free tour of Croner-i Hazardous Substances today.)

From 2021, REACH will be enshrined into UK law and known as UK REACH. So you must keep to the current measures post-Brexit.

But there will also be new rules that you’ll need to meet to continue to access the UK market…

2. Study the updates in force next year

If your company is already registered with EU REACH, your registration will carry across into UK REACH, legally ‘grandfathering’ you into the new scheme.

This gives you until 30 April 2021 to send information about your registration to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). You can do this using a new online system (Comply with UK REACH), which will go live on 1 January.

Then, you must complete your UK REACH registration within either two, four or six years—depending on the tonnage bands and hazard profiles of your chemicals.

If you don’t hold an EU REACH registration, you can continue to import substances as you do now until 27 October 2021.

Then, you must tell the HSE you want to keep importing products by sending a Downstream User Import Notification (DUIN). You’ll also have to submit a new registration within two, four or six years—again, depending on your tonnage and hazard profiles.

(Alternatively, UK downstream users can encourage EU/EEA suppliers to appoint a UK-based Only Representative, or change your suppliers to one registered in the UK.)

The new updates are a lot to think about. And you don’t have much time left to make sure you’re compliant…

3. Prepare now to protect your business

From 1 January, UK downstream users cannot rely on EU authorisation decisions.

So you’ll need to start planning any applications ASAP, ready to send to UK REACH, to help limit disruption to your company.

It’s also a good idea to start thinking about your suppliers. Will they still support your market post-Brexit? Will you have to take on responsibility for REACH registrations? Should you source new suppliers?

And remember, you only have until 30 April 2021 to send your info to the HSE and keep your access to the UK market.

So, how can you guarantee your business will be ready for the changes?

4. Unlock expert support from Croner-i

Croner-i’s Hazardous Substance library gives you access to a range of specialist guides, templates and tools to help you meet the latest UK laws and protect your people and your business.

Read in-depth guides and analysis across over 140 topics, including REACH, chemical regulations, fire, CLP and more. Enjoy time-saving toolkits that help you tackle tough workplace challenges.

Get regular industry e-alerts so your business is never out of date.  Plus, access our experts via our helpline for instant answers to any hazardous substances query.

See for yourself how Croner-i makes your work easier, and your business more secure.

To book your free walkthrough of the Hazardous Substances library, or browse our free-to-air content, simply click here to visit the platform today.