UK Chemicals Regulation (UK Brexit)

This morning DEFRA published additional guidance, and the HSE (the Brexit chemicals regulator) links this guidance to its expanding instructions – here.

Subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists will see the Retained REACH Regulation being worked on to incorporate the UK Brexit Law changes as soon as the Brexit day is completely settled (at the moment it is 12th April 2019).

Note, the UK Brexit Law uses the term “exit day”. We are waiting for the Statutory Instrument to change the exit day to align with the Brexit day of 12th April.

It is likely we will split the Retained REACH Regulation into sections, in order to make it easier to use.

Government Brexit Transport Goods (UK Brexit)

The list of goods to be allocated transport tickets (space) on the government procured Brexit (ship) transport is now published – here.

Note : some priority goods are not allocated space, the list sets out both the allocated and the unallocated categories. The allocation may be subject to change.

Chemical Regulation (UK Brexit)

UPDATE (22nd March) : the Minister’s reply is here.

I posted twice before on the ECHA window and the HSE resources. Find these in the Chemicals category.

Yesterday (6 March), the House of Lords European Union Committee wrote once again to the DEFRA Minister Coffey to highlight continuing concerns about readiness for UK Chemicals Regulation after 29 March.

In November 2018 the Committee published its Brexit: chemical regulation report, and since then has been corresponding with the Minister to monitor progress on the issues it identified. Its current view, based on the Minister’s latest letter (January 2019), the publication of the legislation that would implement a UK chemical regulation regime post-Brexit (see the Brexit Law List in subscribers’ systems), and new guidance from the European Chemicals Agency (the ECHA window I already posted about), is that:

(1) Some companies are not aware of the Government’s plans for post-Brexit chemical regulation

(2) It is not clear whether the Health and Safety Executive will have enough resources to perform its new tasks as the UK’s chemicals regulator

(3) The Minister has not stated whether the UK’s database of chemicals that are authorised for use in the UK will be ready in time, or explained the Government’s contingency plan for if the database is not ready on Brexit day

(4) Some chemical safety tests may need to be re-done, which would increase businesses’ costs, potentially reduce the number of chemicals available in the UK, and increase the amount of animal testing.

The Committee letter is here. I will update this post online, with any further information.

F-gases and ODS (UK Brexit)

I posted before that the UK will regulate Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases (F-gases) and Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) from 30th March 2019, and that a Technical Notice had been issued on this (the Environment Agency would be the regulator).

New Guidance on Use and Trade is now issued.

The new Brexit Use and Trade Guidance is here. I will add this to the Brexit Law List, in Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Law Checklists.

F-gas and ODS are substances used mainly as refrigerants, but also in other products including:

• medical inhalers

• fire extinguishers

• insulation foams

• solvents

• feedstocks for the manufacture of other chemicals

This affects UK companies that :

• produce, supply, import, export or use bulk F-gas or ODS

• manufacture or import equipment containing F-gas or ODS

In addition, the document applies to the service of :

• commercial, industrial and transport refrigeration and air conditioning systems

• other products containing F-gas or ODS

New UK ODS and Fgas regulations transfer most of the requirements of the EU regulations into UK law. These are found in the Brexit Law List.

The UK will continue to:

• restrict ODS

• use the same schedule as the EU to phase down HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons, the most common type of -gas) by 79% by 2030 relative to a 2009 to 2012 baseline.

That means UK F-gas quotas will follow the same phase down steps as the EU:

• limited to 63% of the baseline in 2019 and 2020

• reducing to 45% of the baseline in 2021

Most of the rules for F-gas and ODS will not change. However, the UK will have separate quota systems, and the IT systems UK businesses use to manage quotas and report on use will change.

UK companies will need to comply with EU regulations on products they place on the EU market after exit (since after 30 March, the UK will be a ‘third country’).

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have all decided to remain part of a single, UK-wide system if the UK leaves the EU with no deal on 29 March 2019.

The Environment Agency will administer the systems for the whole of the UK.

F-gases

When the UK leaves the EU, many of the rules for F-gases will not change, including requirements or restrictions:

• to prevent intentional release of F-gases

• to prevent the unintentional release of F-gases during production and use

• to minimise and repair leakages

• to check leaks and keep records

• to use leakage detection systems

• to provide evidence that trifluoromethane produced during the production of F-gases has been destroyed

• to recover F-gases from equipment for recycling, reclamation or destruction

• on placing certain products and equipment on the market

• on sales of F-gases to businesses which do not hold the relevant certificates or attestations

• for product and equipment labelling

• on the use of certain F-gases for magnesium die-casting, vehicle tyres or servicing certain refrigeration equipment

Requirements in the UK will also not change on:

• the individual qualifications and company certifications you need to install, service, maintain, repair, decommission or check for leaks in certain equipment or the recover F-gas

• the content and requirements of training and certification programmes

• the validity of existing certificates and training attestations, including those issued by EU member states both before and after the UK leaves the EU.

ODS

When the UK leaves the EU, the rules will stay the same for ODS that a UK company :

• imports

• supplies

• uses

• recovers

• destroys

UK companies will have the same responsibilities to:

• maintain equipment

• control leaks

Rules on how a UK company supplies and uses ODS will remain the same, including for:

• feedstock

• process agents

• destruction

• reclamation

• essential laboratory and analytical use

• halons for certain critical uses

NOTE : the above is written for the situation “post 30 March if there is no deal in place”. This is a short hand. Please keep following the Blog for updates.

HSA Brexit Guide (Ireland Brexit)

From 30th March 2019, the UK will become a “third country”. The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is the Competent Authority for a range of EU Regulations and Directive in Ireland.

The HSA has now issued a Brexit Overview document – here.

Cardinal Environment will be setting up a Brexit Law List for Ireland EHS Legislation Systems and Checklists, shortly. We will place this and other guidance on that list.

This HSA Brexit Overview reminds :

(1) Products imported from the UK from 30 March 2019 need to be EU compliant.

(2) Irish companies need to know the full supply chain for all their products (for example machinery, chemicals) and how it is linked to the UK or NI, including via distributors.

(3) Unless Irish companies can source their product from another EU supplier, the Irish company may become an EU importer after Brexit, with additional legal responsibility for compliance of the product with EU law. I posted about this recently.

(4) After Brexit, Irish companies will no longer be able to rely on notified bodies based in the UK to undertake 3rd party conformity assessments required under relevant EU law. They will need to source a notified body legally designated to carry out conformity assessments in the EU27.

This applies to Chemicals, Machinery, Transportable Pressure Equipment, and other classes of Industrial Products.

The above also applies in the rest of the EU27, and in the EEA.

PIC notifications (EU Brexit)

Helsinki, 8 February 2019 – ECHA recommends companies to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario ahead of the UK’s withdrawal on 30 March 2019.

If a downstream user in one of the EU-27/EEA countries relies on REACH authorisations granted to a UK-based company, they need to make sure that there is another EU-27/EEA supplier with a valid authorisation for their use.

EU-27 companies will also need to notify their exports of hazardous substances regulated under the PIC Regulation when exporting to the UK. This will be done using the ePIC tool. The export notification in ePIC needs to be submitted 35 days before the export. ECHA will soon clarify how to deal with exports to the UK during the period right after the UK’s effective withdrawal.

Companies based in the EU-27/EEA will also need to prepare for placing substances on the UK market after 29 March, which will be governed by UK law. The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published respective guidance.

Please keep following this Blog.

REACH registrations (UK Brexit)

ECHA has just now (8th February) announced new instructions for Chemicals export to the EU and the EEA. Here

To keep substances that are registered under REACH legally on the EU-27/EEA market, UK-based manufacturers and formulators can either transfer their business to, or appoint an only representative in, one of the EU-27/EEA countries.

Subject to further developments, ECHA will open a ‘Brexit window’ in REACH-IT from 12 to 29 March, 24:00 hours CET (11 p.m. UK time) to enable UK-based companies to make these changes and transfer their REACH registrations. If an only representative is not appointed, the EU-27/EEA importers will have to submit their own registrations.

Step-by-step instructions for using the ‘Brexit window’ are now available on ECHA’s web pages for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The pages also include a link to the European Chemical Industry Council’s (Cefic) recommended standard wording for the suspensive conditional clause to be used in contractual arrangements when appointing only representatives.

If a downstream user in one of the EU-27/EEA countries relies on REACH authorisations granted to a UK-based company, they need to make sure that there is another EU-27/EEA supplier with a valid authorisation for their use.

Companies based in the EU-27/EEA will also need to prepare for placing substances on the UK market after 29 March, which will be governed by UK law. The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has published respective guidance.

Further details, including a list of substances registered only by UK companies, are available on ECHA’s web pages for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Access to the ECHA’s web pages is found from the above link in this Blog post.