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Chemicals Legislation

Legal Area

Legal Aspect

Consequences

REACH Regulation

Substances manufactured in or imported into the European Economic Area (EEA) in quantities of more than one metric ton per year must be registered with the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Registration is only possible through manufacturers or importers established within the EU/EEA. Manufacturers from third countries can appoint an only representative established within the EU/EEA to perform such registration duties.

Registrations by UK manufacturers of substances and by importers who import substances into the UK from third countries will become invalid. This also applies to registrations obtained by the numerous only representatives established in the UK. If UK manufacturers and UK suppliers do not appoint only representatives, EU/EEA customers will have to decide in good time whether to apply for their own registration or to source the substances from other EU/EEA suppliers.

Certain substances with a high risk potential are subject to authorisation. If authorisation is not obtained in time, the substance may not be used or placed on the market in the EU/EEA.

Existing authorisations of UK entities will become invalid after Brexit. Moreover, UK suppliers may be barred from applying for authorisations before Brexit takes effect. EU customers should check in good time when the authorisation requirement applies and establish whether this requirement will be met by their suppliers, and if so when.

Suppliers of substances must provide their customers with safety data sheets or certain other information on the substance. The obligation to provide customers with certain information also applies to suppliers of articles containing a certain quantity of substances of very high concern.

UK suppliers will no longer be subject to the information duties. Customers of UK suppliers should check whether sufficient contractual obligations already exist or attempt to reach agreement on amending the contracts.

Numerous agreements have been entered into in connection with the REACH Regulation, in particular SIEF and data sharing agreements, consortia agreements, agreements with only representatives and supply contracts.

Contractual obligations may cease to apply or need to be modified if the basis of the agreement no longer exists (Wegfall der Geschäftsgrundlage). This will lead to considerable legal uncertainty. In order to avoid disputes, contracts should be adapted or amended before Brexit takes effect.

CLP Regulation

Manufacturers and importers placing substances or mixtures on the market in the EU/EEA which are subject to registration or which are classified as hazardous are obliged to notify the Classification and Labelling Inventory.

After Brexit, the notification obligation will no longer apply to UK suppliers. The notification obligation will lie with the EU/EEA customer, who becomes the importer within the meaning of the CLP Regulation.

Substances and mixtures may only be placed on the market in the EU/EEA if they are classified, labelled and packaged in accordance with the requirements of the CLP Regulation.

After Brexit, UK suppliers will no longer be obliged to label and package products in accordance with the CLP Regulation. Customers of UK suppliers should check whether adequate contractual obligations already exist, or attempt to reach agreement on amending the relevant contracts.