Q&As

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The UKs withdrawal from the EU

REACH

My UK (Great Britain)-based company does not hold and is not covered by a REACH Authorisation for the use of an Annex XIV substance and the respective Latest Application Date is approaching. In view of the UK withdrawal and the end of the transition period, do we need to apply for an Authorisation?

Companies using an Annex XIV substance in the UK(Great Britain) would need to hold or be covered by a REACH Authorisation between the respective sunset date and the end of the transition period. Whenever the sunset dates of Annex XIV substances fall after the end of the transition period,  UK(Great Britain) companies will not have to apply for a REACH Authorisation to use any such substance.

Note, however, that if an applicant has submitted an application prior to the Latest Application Date of an Annex XIV substance, he benefits from transitional arrangements (please see Q&A 572 on ECHA’s Q&A web pages). 

For UK (Great Britain) companies placing an Annex XIV substance on the EU/EEA market after the end of the transition period, please see Q&A 1428 on downstream users located in the EU/EEA relying on a REACH Authorisation granted to a UK supplier.

In Northern Ireland, REACH continues to apply after the transition period. Please refer to Q&A 1700.

My UK (Great Britain)-based company holds or is covered by a REACH Authorisation for certain uses of an Annex XIV substance. After the UK withdrawal, will my company still need to adhere to the conditions of use determined by this Authorisation decision?

You will need to adhere to the conditions of use determined by the REACH Authorisation decision until the end of the transition period. After the end of the transition period EU legislation will no longer apply to the UK(Great Britain), and you will no longer be subject to this obligation. Nevertheless, prior to that date, we advise you to follow the legislative development in the UK with regard to domestic authorisation obligations, as you will need to adhere to applicable UK law in this respect. 

For REACH Authorisations covering a UK(Great Britain)-based company’s downstream users located in the EU/EEA, please see Q&A 1428.

In Northern Ireland, REACH continues to apply after the transition period. Please refer to Q&A 1700.

My UK (Great Britain)-based company is a downstream user of an Annex XIV substance relying on a REACH Authorisation granted to an upstream actor in accordance with REACH Article 56 (2). Will we need to continue complying with the obligations imposed by the Authorisation decision also after the UK withdrawal?

After the end of the transition period,  EU legislation will no longer apply to the UK, and you will no longer be subject to this obligation.

In Northern Ireland, REACH continues to apply after the transition period. Please refer to Q&A 1700.

My company is a downstream user located in the EU/EEA and relies on a REACH Authorisation granted to a UK (Great Britain) supplier (or a pending application for an Authorisation). Will our use be covered after the end of the transition period?
Your use of an Annex XIV substance will be covered by the REACH Authorisation (or the pending Authorisation application) until the end of the transition period. After the end of the transition period, the REACH Regulation will no longer apply to the UK(Great Britain), and the REACH Authorisations (and pending authorisation applications) will lose their legal effect as of that date.
 
Therefore, you will need to rely on a supplier with a valid Authorisation (or with a pending authorisation application) in the EU/EEA. If your supplier does not hold an authorisation nor has applied for an Authorisation, and you wish to continue to use the Annex XIV substance after the end of the transition period, you will need to apply for an Authorisation yourself. We recommend that you contact your supplier, to ask them about their intentions.
 
As for UK(Great Britain)-based Authorisation holders (or authorisation applicants), there are a number of situations in which they can transfer their  Authorisation (or pending authorisation application) to EU/EEA:
 
  1. UK(Great Britain)-based manufacturers and formulators can transfer their Authorisation or pending application for authorisation to an Only Representative based in the EU/EEA;
  2. UK(Great Britain)-based Only Representatives can transfer their Authorisation or pending application for authorisation to a new Only Representative based in EU/EEA, appointed by the non-EU manufacturer (also see Q&A 1250). Please note however that UK(Great Britain)-based importers cannot transfer their Authorisation to an Only Representative in the EU/EEA.
  3. Like any EU/EEA-based legal entity, UK(Great Britain)-based legal entities can currently transfer their Authorisation or pending application for authorisation where the transfer is the result of the change of legal entity referred to in Q&A 1239 (for instance, as the result of a merger, a split or an asset sale (sale of a production site or business)) and the person to whom it is transferred qualifies as manufacturer, importer or downstream user with regard to the substance(s) and the use(s) covered by the application for authorisation or the decision. A change of legal entity cannot extend the scope of the original application for authorisation or of the Authorisation, e.g. to cover different uses. (Please see Q&A 1239 and Q&A 1241 to 1249).
With regard to the timing of such transfers:
 
  • In case 1, the transfer can only take effect at the end of the transition period (for detailed advice, please see Q&A 1466).
  • In cases 2 and 3, the transfer must take place before the end of the transition period and be notified to ECHA (through the ‘Legal entity change’ functionality in REACH-IT) without undue delay. In fact, ECHA recommends to initiate the transfer at least two weeks before the end of the transition period, to allow for a timely update should ECHA identify any issue with the attached documentation. It should also be noted that after this transfer, the UK-based company cannot continue its manufacturing / importing / Only Representative activity, as long as the REACH Regulation applies to the UK(GB). If the UK(GB)-based company only intends to implement the transfer at the end of the transition, it can include a suspensive clause in the transfer agreement with the successor company stipulating that the transfer takes effect at the end of the transition period. In this case, after the legal entity change is initiated in REACH-IT, the successor legal entity should review the transfer, but not proceed to accept it before the end of the transition period. (Please see also the instructions in the 'How to transfer your UK REACH registrations prior to the UK withdrawal from the EU' guide).
The advice provided above applies to both Authorisations and pending applications.
 
In Northern Ireland, REACH continues to apply after the transition period. This means, inter alia, that authorisation holders can continue to be based in Northern Ireland. Please refer to Q&A 1700 for further details..
Can my company, which is a UK(Great Britain)-based manufacturer or formulator, transfer its REACH Authorisation (or its Application for Authorisation) to an Only Representative within the EU/EEA? How can my company do this prior to the end of the transition period to avoid our Authorisation (or application) being voided as non-existent after that date?

Such a transfer will become possible at the end of the transition period.

However, until the end of the transition period your company will not qualify for performing such a transfer. Consequently, we recommend that prior to the end of the transition period, you set up a contractual agreement to appoint an Only Representative which contains a suspensive conditional clause stipulating that the appointment takes effect at the end of the transition period. The Only Representative will need to adhere to all the conditions of use determined by the Authorisation decision, including any specific duties foreseen in the decision for your company.

Your company will need to notify this change in REACH-IT immediately ahead of the end of the transition period by transferring the applications or authorisations to the new Only Representative. You will need to initiate the transfer before the end of the transition period, similarly to the instructions in the 'How to transfer your UK REACH registrations prior to the UK withdrawal from the EU' guide. In fact, ECHA recommends to initiate the transfer as early as possible, to allow for a timely update should ECHA identify any issue with the attached documentation. See also Q&A 1242 on how to use the legal entity change functionality of REACH-IT for applications for authorisation.

ECHA will forward the notification to the European Commission.

In Northern Ireland, REACH continues to apply after the transition period. This means, inter alia, that authorisation holders can continue to be based in Northern Ireland. Please refer to Q&A 1700.

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