Cooperating with UK authorities
Our mission comprises numerous tasks that entail close cooperation with public authorities of the EU Member States and EEA members.
In fact, our Establishing (REACH) Regulation contains various provisions that oblige EU Member State authorities to be involved in implementing the EU chemicals legislation.
For instance, the entire Title XIII of the REACH Regulation is dedicated to outlining the duties of competent authorities that every Member State has to assign, including their duty to cooperate with each other as well as with us. Title XIV obliges each Member State to maintain a system of official controls and other appropriate activities to contribute to enforcing the law.
Similarly, the Biocidal Products Regulation in its Article 81 foresees that each Member State designates a competent authority for applying the provisions of the regulation.
Article 81 of the PIC Regulation obliges Member States to designate a competent authority that is involved in manifold aspects of implementing the various operational processes foreseen by the legislation as well as the Rotterdam Convention.
Without prejudice to a potential future agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom, with its withdrawal from the European Union, the United Kingdom will no longer be bound by these EU provisions. Inversely, the EU legislation that we manage will no longer provide a legal basis for cooperating with the authorities of the United Kingdom.
Ever since the REACH Regulation came into force in June 2007, data submitted by companies located within the EU/EEA has contributed to our Agency holding the largest database on the properties of chemical substances, worldwide. A major impact of the UK withdrawal will be the UK authorities’ loss of access to this database as well as to the topical databases and IT tools that we provide for regulatory purposes. The UK authorities will also no longer be involved in using this data as only Member States are required to cooperate with us as partners in applying our regulatory processes. Solely to the same degree as the general public, UK authorities will continue to benefit from the wide range of substance-centred information that we make publicly available on the ECHA webpages. In summary, without prejudice to a potential future agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom, as from the date of UK withdrawal, we will provide the UK authorities with access to data on a far lesser scale than to EU Member State authorities that continue to interact directly with us.
After withdrawal, the UK enforcement authorities will no longer need to ensure compliance by UK-based companies with the EU chemicals legislation. They can also cease enforcing our regulatory decisions addressed to such companies.
Furthermore, mostly in the context of evaluating the properties of hazardous industrial chemicals under the REACH Regulation or of active substances and biocidal products under the Biocidal Products Regulation, the UK competent authorities have been exercising the function of a so-called Evaluating or Reference Member State. These functions will discontinue due to the UK withdrawal.
To the extent that the UK authorities will be engaged in pending evaluations at the time of withdrawal, our Agency and the European Commission, in cooperation with Member States’ authorities, will decide how to ensure that these evaluations are taken over by other authorities within the EU and EEA, and in the case of the BPR, also by Switzerland. We will provide updated information and publish a list of affected evaluations in due time.