UK out of REACH – a dark picture of higher business costs and environmental deregulation

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(30/01/2019) With only two months left until Brexit day, the Executive Director of Cefic, René van Sloten, identified a no-deal Brexit as the only relevant planning scenario for chemicals businesses at a Brussels event. What this entails in practice has been outlined by CEFIC and the CIA in a newly published briefing. After 29 March all chemical registrations held by UK entities will be invalid, which means that they will not be able to import into the EU unless they have appointed an EU entity which holds a registration. The UK’s role in the supply chain of chemicals is significant, involving 5,508 importers and/or manufacturers of chemicals and 4,912 only representatives appointed by non-EEA countries in order to import substances, according to ECHA registration statistics. No transition period to allow continuity would take place in this no-deal scenario. EU based companies thus need to identify their UK supply chain exposure and take measures including switching to EU based suppliers.

The head of UK’s Chemical Industries Association (CIA), Ian Cranshaw, warned about of the negative impact on UK jobs in regions with economic decline and the extra costs of registering chemicals twice, both in the EU and the UK.

Campaigner Kate Young, from the environmental NGO CHEM Trust, raised the UK government’s announcement to subject all ex-EU law to its target to cut regulatory costs for business by 9 billion GBP. So far EU law has been exempt from this target. She also voiced concerns of regulatory divergence on chemical protection standards in the UK post-Brexit.

High level debate on Brexit & Chemical sectors, European Economic and Social Committee – Agenda
CEFIC and CIA briefing note

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