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Chemicals Legislation

TopicTransition PeriodAfter Transition Period (from 1 January 2021)
REACH Regulation
 
Substances manufactured in or imported to 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. During the transition period, the UK will remain part of the EU single market. Registrations of UK manufacturers, importers and only representatives will therefore remain valid.At the end of the transition period, registrations of UK manufacturers of substances and of importers who import substances into the UK from third countries will become invalid. In principle, this also applies to registrations of the numerous only representatives who are established in the UK. If UK manufacturers and UK suppliers do not appoint only representatives, the EU-27/EEA customers will need to apply in due time for their own registrations or to source the substances from other EU-27/EEA suppliers after the transition period.
 Certain substances with a high risk potential are subject to authorization. If authorization is not obtained in time, the substance may not be used or placed on the EU/EEA market. During the transition period, this will also apply to the UK, as the UK will remain part of the EU single market.At the end of the transition period, existing authorizations of UK entities will become invalid unless transferred to an EU only representative. Moreover, UK suppliers may be barred from applying for authorizations before the end of the transition period. EU-27 customers should check when the authorization duties will begin to apply, and if and until when these duties will be met by their suppliers. It may be necessary to apply for an own authorization or to change to an authorized EU-27/EEA supplier.
 Suppliers of substances must provide their customers with safety data sheets, respectively, certain other information on the substance. The obligation to provide the customers with certain information also applies to suppliers of articles containing a certain quantity of substances of very high concern. During the transition period this will also apply to UK suppliers.UK suppliers will no longer be subject to the information duties. Customers of UK suppliers should examine whether sufficient contractual obligations already exist or attempt to reach agreement on amending the contracts to ensure that the necessary documentation/information is provided.
 Numerous agreements were 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 have to be adjusted in case the basis of the agreement no longer exists (Wegfall der Geschäftsgrundlage). This leads to considerable legal uncertainties. In order to avoid disputes, contracts should be adapted or amended before the end of the transition period.
CLP RegulationManufacturers and importers placing substances or mixtures in the EU/EEA on the market for which there is a registration duty or which are classified as being hazardous are obliged to make a notification to the Classification and Labelling Inventory. During the transition period this will also apply to UK manufacturers and importers.After Brexit the notification obligation will no longer apply to UK suppliers. The notification obligation will lie with the EU-27/EEA customer – who becomes the importer within the meaing of the CLP Regulation.
 Substances and mixtures may only be placed on the EU/EEA market if they are classified, labelled and packaged in accordance with the requirements of the CLP Regulation. During the transition period this will also apply in the UK.After the end of the transition period UK suppliers will no longer be obliged to label and package in accordance with the CLP Regulation. Customers of UK suppliers should examine whether sufficient contractual obligations already exist or attempt to reach agreement on amending the contracts to ensure that the necessary documentation/information is provided.
PIC RegulationExports of certain hazardous industrial chemicals, plant protection products and pesticides to non-EU/EEA countries are subject to notification and, if necessary, additional consent requirements. As the UK will remain part of the EU single market, there are no notification and consent requirements for exports to the UK during the transition period.EU-27/EEA companies supplying substances/mixtures to the UK should verify whether they are covered by the PIC regulation and, if necessary, make a notification and, if necessary, obtain consent before the first export after the end of the transition period.
Biocidal Products RegulationAuthorization holders of biocidal products must be established within the EU/EEA/Switzerland. As the UK will remain part of the EU single market, UK companies can continue to be authorization holders during the transition period.Unless UK approvals are transferred to a company within the EU-27/EEA/Switzerland before the end of the transition period, they will become invalid.
 Suppliers of active substances or biocidal products must be established within the EU/EEA/Switzerland or have a representative in order to remain included on the Article 95 list. During the transition period, UK companies will continue to be listed as suppliers or representatives on the Article 95 list.UK companies must appoint a representative within the EU-27/EEA/Switzerland in order not to be removed from the Article 95 list. Companies outside the EU-27/EEA/Switzerland which until now have had a representative in the UK must appoint a new representative within the EU-27/EEA/Switzerland. This change must take place in due time before the end of the transition period.