Advies voor bedrijven / Vraagbaak

The UKs withdrawal from the EU

General

What impact will the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union have on my UK-based company?

If your business of putting chemical substances, biocidal products or active substances on the market is limited to the territory of the United Kingdom alone, as from the end of the transition period, your activity will no longer be subject to the provisions of the EU chemicals legislation. With regard to obligations arising from the CLP, BPR, PIC, and REACH Regulations, your legal obligations towards ECHA as the EU’s respective regulatory Agency will also cease. Instead, it will be the UK legislation that applies to you.

You will therefore need to follow the legislative developments in the UK. 

For businesses that are part of a cross-border supply chain, linking companies located in the UK with companies located within the  EU Member States after the UK’s withdrawal, detailed advice can be found under the respective headings of these Q&A pages.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

 

Will UK-based companies still be able to rely on helpdesk support for advice and assistance related to the EU chemical legislation?

Yes. With its withdrawal from the EU, the United Kingdom has become a so-called “third country”. The ECHA Helpdesk regularly replies to enquiries from companies based outside the EU/EEA. After the  end of the transition period, UK-based companies should address ECHA via the dedicated contact form. 

After the end of the transition period, the UK will no longer have the obligation to maintain a national helpdesk to provide advice and assistance on matters governed by the EU’s CLP, BPR or REACH Regulations. You are advised to check with the UK authorities if they will nonetheless provide such advice in practice. You may also wish to address your industry association in the UK.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

 

What impact will the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union have on my EU-based company?

As a company based in the EU, the obligations flowing from the EU chemicals legislation will continue to apply to you. Your interactions with UK-based business partners, however, will be impacted by the UK withdrawal, as the United Kingdom has become a “third country”. However, this impact will be deferred until the end of the transition period and nothing will actually change for you before that. For biocidal products specific arrangement are put in place potentially affecting your company as the UK cannot anymore act as a leading authority during the transition period.  In the end, you may face new and different UK rules on the import and use of chemical substances. You may also need to adapt your interaction in supply chains involving your UK-based business partners. The Q&A sections on the BPR, CLP, PIC and REACH Regulations will provide you with more detailed guidance in that regard.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

 

What impact will the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union have on appeal proceedings before the Board of Appeal?

ECHA decisions concerning UK-based companies will only apply until the end of the transition period.

If you, as a UK-based company and an addressee of an ECHA decision, decide to challenge that decision or have already challenged it before the Board of Appeal, this may mean that the contested ECHA decision will then cease to have legal effect. In this case, unless the appellant provides evidence as to the existence of a material interest in ECHA’s Board of Appeal continuing to handle its appeal, the appeal proceedings may be discontinued, as there would be no need for the Board of Appeal to rule on such an appeal.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

 

My UK-based company provides chemicals to customers in the EU/EEA. What other effects of the UK withdrawal from the EU than those relating to the BPR, CLP, PIC and REACH Regulations will we need to bear in mind?

The Q&As on this website solely provide advice on the impact of the UK withdrawal in relation to the chemicals legislation that ECHA manages. You will need to find information on its other effects on supply chains across the external frontier of the EU (e.g., customs, tariffs and quotas, rules of origin, standardisation, rules on transport from outside the EU, etc.) from other sources, such as the European Commission or your industry association. Such information is, for instance, contained in this “Notice to Stakeholders” of 22 January 2018 on the “Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU Rules in the Field of Industrial Products”, published on the webpages of the European Commission.

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