UK Chemicals Regulation (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October 2019

I posted before on UK Chemicals Regulation after UK Exit. This is a reminder post.

On the 25th March, HSE (the UK REACH chemicals regulator) published further instructions on access to UK REACH – here.

[the UK documents endlessly refer to a “Deal” – this is the Withdrawal Agreement, and for our purposes merely provides a new Exit day of 31st December 2020, not new trade arrangements with the EU]

These HSE instructions make it clear the online service ‘Comply with UK REACH’ will replace ECHA’s REACH-IT platform for UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals), from Exit day.

Live on Exit day, the new online system will allow:

* Businesses that have existing UK-held REACH registrations to validate their registrations (‘grandfathering’)

* Businesses that import chemicals from the EEA to submit downstream user import notifications

* Business to register new substance registrations or PPORD notifications (Product and Process Orientated Research and Development)

In order to minimise disruption to in the event of a no-deal Brexit, businesses that currently hold a REACH registration are encouraged to access their ECHA REACH-IT account and ensure that all the information relating to their business is downloaded. Information required to comply with UK REACH includes registration confirmation documents and ECHA decisions.

Under the new requirements, from Exit day –

* UK businesses that manufacture a chemical (those currently registered to EU REACH) will need to validate their existing registration with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) within 120 days of the UK leaving the EU.

* UK businesses that import a chemical substance from the EU will need to notify HSE within 180 days of the UK leaving the EU.

* UK businesses that export chemicals to the EU will need to have an EU REACH registration in place once the UK leaves the EU.

In addition, more technical information will need to be submitted by businesses to HSE within two years of EU Exit.

Current HSE instructions are here.

[the Exit day may change, please continue to follow this Blog]

Glyphosate (UK)

In 2017, the EU decided to renew (for a further five years) the licence that permits the herbicide Glyphosate to be marketed and used in the EU28. I have posted before about this (but it was a while back).

Glyphosate is marketed as Roundup by the US agrochemical company Monsanto.

One UN study called the chemical “probably carcinogenic”, but other scientists said it was safe to use.

The UK was among the EU member states in favour of glyphosate renewal. Germany and Poland were also among them – though they had previously abstained.

France and Belgium were among the states that voted against. Portugal abstained. President Macron said after the decision that France would ban Glyphosate as soon as alternatives are found, and within three years at the latest.

The EU Commission said the current proposal on the weedkiller “enjoys the broadest possible support by the member states while ensuring a high level of protection of human health and the environment”.

Glyphosate was introduced by Monsanto in 1974, but its patent expired in 2000, and now the chemical is sold by various manufacturers.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans.

Some countries and regions have banned glyphosate use in public parks and gardens. Its effect on plants is non-selective, meaning it will kill most of them when applied.

The European Commission says that besides EFSA, the European Chemicals Agency and other scientific bodies found no link to cancer in humans.

The Soil Association says glyphosate traces are regularly found in bread.

Since the EU decision, a US court has ordered Monsanto to pay one user a substantive sum in damages after he developed cancer, a second case in a different US court also ordered a substantive sum in damages, and further cases are before the US courts in different places.

As a result, Councils across the UK are examining whether to take action. This Guardian article summarises – here.

The current Government guidance is under review.

HSE is the UK regulator responsible for plant protection products (pesticides and herbicides) following Brexit – their online information is here.

REACH No 2 (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 12th April

I posted yesterday (DEFRA post) that a second REACH SI (Brexit Law) would be enacted. It is now laid, and comments may be made on it for the next few days only.

The document is here.

The instrument amends the REACH etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (the “REACH SI”). It adds to one of the transitional provisions relating to imported substances.

The REACH SI is here.

[the Brexit Law List in subscribers’ Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Checklists is being updated again today. So check later today.]

Information per the Explanatory Note here

What did any relevant EU law do before exit day?

Controls on the use of chemicals are set out in Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals and establishing a European Chemicals Agency (“the EU REACH Regulation”). The REACH SI makes amendments to the EU REACH Regulation to make it operable in the domestic context and create a domestic regime for chemicals. The REACH SI contains a number of transitional provisions to allow for uninterrupted production and supply of chemicals, including one to allow the continued import of substances from the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (“the transitional import provision”). That provision allows the importer of the substance two years from exit before they have to register the substance with the UK Agency. In the meantime the importer must provide the UK Agency with a notification within 180 days of exit.

Why is it being changed?

After the REACH SI was laid, the Department received representations from industry about the transitional import provision. Industry was concerned that, as drafted, it would still lead to disruption in the supply chain in the case of substances imported from outside the EEA. Industry was also concerned that the provision did not allow an only representative to send the required notification to the UK Agency. Only representatives are UK-based entities appointed by non-UK manufacturers, formulators or producers to fulfil the obligations of importers under the REACH Regulation. The EU REACH Regulation contains an equivalent provision regarding EEA-based only representatives. While industry has not provided detailed evidence of the impact, the Government has decided to reduce the risk through this instrument.

What will it now do?

This instrument adds to the transitional import provision. The revised version will also apply to imports to the UK from outside of the EEA where an EEA-based only representative had registered the substance under the EU REACH Regulation prior to exit. It also inserts a new provision that allows UK-based only representatives to provide the notification to the UK Agency.

Continue reading

ODS and F-Gases (UK Brexit)

I posted before about the ODS and F-Gases changes in force on exit day.

Reminder : exit day is 12th April 2019.

Please note earlier guidance that identified the 29th March 2019 is withdrawn.

The UK will regulate fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gas) and ozone-depleting substances (ODS) from 12 April 2019. The regulator is the Environment Agency.

The UK guidance is updated with the new exit day – here.

Note the UK F gas and ODS Regulations link (in this guidance) is to the draft regulations. Please continue to check the Brexit Law List (which include these regulations) in subscribers’ Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists for the current situation.

Per the updated guidance –

The UK will continue to:

• restrict ODS

• use the same schedule as the EU to phase down HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons, the most common type of F 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.

Companies must still comply with EU regulations on products placed on the EU market after exit.

[the exit day may change again, please keep following this Blog]

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.