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The UKs withdrawal from the EU


Can EU/EEA-based downstream users still rely on an authorisation granted to a United Kingdom supplier covering their use?

No. Following the end of the transition period of the United Kingdom withdrawal from the EU, any authorisation held by a United Kingdom-based company that has not yet been transferred to an EU/EEA-based legal entity ceased to be valid. Therefore, EU/EEA downstream users wishing to continue their use of the Annex XIV substance will either need to find an alternative supplier based in the EU/EEA holding a valid authorisation covering their use or they may apply for authorisation themselves.

In Northern Ireland however, REACH continues to apply. This means, inter alia, that authorisations granted to companies based in Northern Ireland remain valid. Please refer to Q&A 1700 for further details.

My EU/EEA-based company obtains its supplies of a chemical substance from a United Kingdom based importer into the EU/EEA, which is now considered “third country”. If we continue our business relations with our United Kingdom-based supplier, would our United Kingdom-based supplier be entitled to appoint our company as its Only Representative in the EU/EEA and transfer its registration to us, or would we need to register as an importer ourselves?

The latter is the case. You would need to act as an importer of the substance into the EU/EEA and submit a new registration. Article 8 of the REACH Regulation only allows manufacturers, formulators of mixtures or producers of articles established outside the EU/EEA to appoint an Only Representative. This option will thus not be available to United Kingdom  -based companies that will have been importers into the EU/EEA until the end of transition period. Non-EU/EEA manufacturers of the substance may of course appoint an EU/EEA-based Only Representative of the substance. However, such an Only Representative would then need to submit a new registration for the substance.

In Northern Ireland, REACH continues to apply. Therefore, supplies from Northern Ireland will be considered as transfers within EU internal market and not as imports. Please refer to Q&A 1700.

My EU/EEA-based company purchases a mixture from a United Kingdom-based company. Under the REACH and CLP Regulations, what happens now?

Your supplier is no longer subject to REACH and CLP obligations. Therefore, your United Kingdom-based supplier should have appointed an Only Representative to cover the necessary REACH registrations for the component substances of the mixture. If not, you will need to submit the relevant registrations as an importer yourself to be legally on the EU/EEA internal market.

Under CLP, you are now the importer and thus have the obligation to ensure that the imported mixture is correctly classified, labelled and packaged. You may also have the notification obligation to the Classification and Labelling Inventory and the notification obligations under Article 45 (poison centre notification, please refer to Q&A 1715). 

In Northern Ireland, REACH and CLP continue to apply. This means, inter alia, that REACH registrants can continue to be based in Northern Ireland and that supplies from Northern Ireland are not considered as imports. Please refer to Q&As 1700, Q&A 1701, Q&A 1702.

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