After 47 years, the United Kingdom’s (UK) participation in the European Union (EU) has ended. The exit, named “Brexit” (word created by the combination of: “British” and “exit”), carried three years and seven months of many negotiations, and was made official at 23:00, on Friday, 31th January 2020.
At EU, all the companies from the European Economic Area (EEA) that import or manufacture some chemicals substances in quantities equal to or more than one tonne per year must be registered at the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) database. This Regulation applies to the chemical substances used in industrial process, and to those that are present in other quotidian products, such as: paints, cleaning products, furniture and home appliances, for example. The substances not registered in REACH that have registration characteristics, cannot be used or marketed in the EU.
The UK did not have its own and specific chemical products legislation. When it was part of the EU, all companies located in UK territory, should attend to the REACH requirements. With its exit from EU, there will be no immediate legislation for the chemical products and the UK will remain following some EU rules until the end of 2020. After this period, the legislations from EU, will no longer be applied.
Therefore, companies that work with: substances, mixtures, chemical articles, biocidal products, active substances, exported and imported chemicals, should plan to attend the changes, for example, the non-obligation to update the REACH registration dossier after the end of the transition period.
The information was provided by European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), and it was confirmed by the National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC), which stated that the transition period will run until the end of 2020, because there is still the negotiation of additional agreements. By the way, the current rules about trade, travels, and business between the UK and EU remain inforce during the transition period. The institute also recommends that the country’s citizens/ companies take some steps to prepare themselves to 2021.
About the preparations to the next changes, the UK government informs that new rules will take effect on 1th January 2021. More information about how to prepare to the new rules can be seen by clicking here.
Giulia Forni de Almeida