Brexit coverage

As our readers respond to the UK's decision in June 2016 to leave the EU, Chemical Watch will track the actions and opinions of all stakeholders in the chemicals risk management and regulation field.

We will report on the actions of the UK government and stakeholders including British businesses. We are in close touch with EU regulators, businesses and NGOs and will bring you their latest thinking and actions. We will also use our strong contacts to canvass views and monitor responses globally to help all our readers understand what, if anything, changes for their way of doing business.

Industry calls for calm amid Brexit vote uncertainty

11 December 2018-The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has urged industry to remain calm and called for "collective leadership" to help deliver an "orderly" Brexit. The organisation’s call came in a turbulent week for British politics, during which prime minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote of her Conservative Party MPs – but with more than a third of them voting against her. Read more 

No-deal Brexit: UK may diverge from EU REACH decisions

11 December 2018- In the long run the UK may choose to diverge from EU decisions concerning the use of hazardous chemicals under REACH, if the UK ends up leaving the bloc without a deal, a senior government official has said. James Dancy, head of EU exit – chemicals at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said in a no-deal Brexit  Read more 

UK product database to address chemical safety issues

10 December 2018- Chemical safety issues in the UK are to be covered by a product database that the government’s department for business, energy and industrial strategy (Beis) is developing. The UK government established the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) in January, following recommendations of the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety. Part of the OPSS's Read more 

Agency updates Brexit REACH Q&A webpage

6 December 2018- Echa has updated its webpage providing advice for companies once the UK withdraws from the EU on 29 March next year. The change comes ahead of the agency’s plan in January to provide technical guidance for UK-based companies on how to notify Echa through REACH-IT of changes related to appointing an only representative (OR) based in one of the remaining EU27 member states. Read more 

Data timetable 'under review' in a no-deal Brexit

6 December 2018-Britain will keep "under review" the timescale for companies to submit full data packages to register chemicals under a UK REACH equivalent in the event of a no-deal Brexit, a senior official at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said. James Dancy, head of EU exit – chemicals, faced a flurry of questionsRead more 

UK releases additional no-deal Brexit REACH guidance

5 December 2018- The UK government has published additional guidance on UK REACH in the event Britain leaves the EU on 29 March without a deal. It follows the agreement in principle between the two sides of terms set out in the withdrawal agreement, as well as the draft political declaration of 22 November. "Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, Read more 

EU publishes Brexit guidance for cosmetic products

4 December 2018- The European Commission has published guidance on the cosmetics Regulation for manufacturers and importers for when the UK withdraws from the EU and becomes a third country. Subject to the transition period  Read more 

No-deal Brexit: industry alliance warns of £1bn REACH data cost

29 November 2018- The total cost for companies submitting full data packages for UK REACH under a no-deal Brexit scenario could be as much as £1bn (€1.13bn), a major chemical industry alliance estimated. And, in a letter to junior Read more 

UK/Echa ‘cooperation’ included in draft Brexit political declaration

22 November 2018 -A commitment for Britain and the EU to explore the possibility of "cooperation" between UK authorities and Echa has been included in the draft Brexit political declaration. Agreed in principle on 22 November, Read more 

UK government updates Brexit chemicals webpage

21 November 2018- The UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated its Brexit webpages containing advice for Britain's chemicals industry. The update comes after a draft text on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union was agreed by both parties and published on 14 November. The 585-page document sets out clauses of Britain’s exit, but does not include finer detail around chemicals legislation. Read more 

Hard Brexit 'not yet averted' – Germany's VCI

20 November 2018- The danger of Britain crashing out of the EU with no agreement has not been averted and there is still risk of a "serious impact" on chemical supply chains, the head of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) has said. Utz Tillmann’s comments come  Read more 

Brexit: UK, EU chemicals industry welcomes agreed draft deal

15 November 2018- Cefic and the UK Chemical Industries Association (CIA) have welcomed an agreed draft text on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. Published on 14 November, the 585-page document sets out clauses of Britain’s exit but does not include finer detail around chemicals legislation. Read more 

Industry backs parliament subcommittee call for Brexit REACH clarity

8 November 2018- National trade bodies have welcomed a report by a British House of Lords subcommittee that calls on the government to provide clear answers on plans for a UK REACH regime in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The report, Brexit: chemical regulation, followed its inquiry earlier this year.Read more 

UK government pressed to clarify post-Brexit REACH approach

7 November 2018- A House of Lords report has urged the British government to clarify "as a matter of urgency" whether it would automatically accept EU27-led chemical REACH registrations into a UK system in order to avoid a "cliff-edge" of potentially losing access to 16,000 substances.Read more 

Brexit REACH registration uncertainty sparks coatings sector concern

31 October 2018- The British coatings industry has raised concerns about the lack of clarity on how a UK REACH Regulation would work alongside the EU's under a hard Brexit scenario. In particular doubt is the registration procedure, Ellen Daniels, head of public affairs and policy at the British Coatings Federation, told Chemical Watch.Read more 

Stakeholders identify gaps in UK no-deal Brexit REACH plans

30 October 2018- The UK’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said it could "essentially republish" its no-deal Brexit technical notices to address gaps identified by chemicals industry stakeholders. This option, yet to be formally agreed, Read more 

Industry questions no-deal Brexit CLP arrangements

25 October 2018- British trade associations have raised concerns over the UK’s ability to keep pace with future changes to the EU’s classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) Regulation in a no-deal Brexit scenario Read more 

CBA: ‘Not enough meat on bones’ of UK REACH plan

23 October 2018- The Chemical Business Association has said there is "not enough meat on the bones" of the government’s UK REACH plan in the event of a no-deal Brexit. "What meat there is," technical director Douglas Leech told Chemical Watch, "is not workable."  Read more 

Industry alarmed by UK REACH full data requirement

17 October 2018 - The UK’s Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says companies will need to submit a "full" data package in order to register their chemicals under a UK version of REACH in a no-deal Brexit scenario.Read more 

Cefic, CIA and NGOs urge post-Brexit regulatory alignment

16 October 2018- British and European trade groups and NGOs have urged heads of state and government to ensure EU27 and UK regulatory systems "remain highly aligned" after Britain withdraws from the trade bloc on 29 March. Their open letter, Read more 

UK publishes no-deal Brexit CLP, Pic technical notices

12 October 2018-The UK government has issued guidance on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) and prior informed consent (Pic) regulations in the event that Britain leaves the EU on 29 March without a trade deal. It published advice on REACH at the end of September.Read more 

Echa updates REACH Brexit advice to companies

11 October 2018- Echa has updated its advice to companies on Britain's withdrawal from the EU, with new information on authorisation and registration of substances under REACH. The advice includes five new Q&As prepared on the basis that Britain will leave the bloc on 29 March 2019. If both parties conclude a withdrawal agreement and a transition period is implemented, Echa said it will amend the  Read more 

Be ready for no deal

10 October 2018- Progress in negotiations between the UK and the EU about Brexit continue at an alarmingly slow pace, with both sides committed to different outcomes, as seen at the summit in September in Salzburg. For Prime Minister Theresa May, Read more 

Trade body calls for options to secure post-Brexit chemicals supply

2 October 2018- European SMEs trade body Ueapme has said that options need to be developed for small and medium enterprises to ensure the supply of chemicals, once the UK withdraws from the EU next year. Its proposal, which is part of a position paper on improving  Read more 

Commission advises on post-Brexit detergents Regulation

1 October 2018- The European Commission has published guidance for companies on the EU’s detergents Regulation after Brexit. Subject to any transitional arrangement, EU rules on detergents will no longer apply in Britain from 30 March 2019. A report, entitled: Brexit – guidance to stakeholders on impact in the field of detergents Read more 

'No-deal' Brexit could result in duplicate animal tests – NGO

1 October 2018-An animal rights NGO has expressed its concern that animal tests could be duplicated following Brexit. The UK may need to repeat tests conducted on animals for EU market substances if it leaves without a trade deal and is not allowed access to Echa's data, Cruelty Free International has said.Read more 

CIA, Cefic advise companies on UK out-of-REACH scenario

27 September 2018- The UK’s Chemical Industries Association and Cefic have produced a joint briefing note containing advice for companies in the event of Britain leaving EU REACH after Brexit. In a "worst-case scenario" –  Read more 

Brexit threatens chemicals ‘chaos’ – trade union

27 September 2018- Livelihoods are "at risk" if the UK does not negotiate "as full an agreement as possible" that maintains its participation in Echa after withdrawing from the EU in March 2019, a trade union has said. The statement, from union Prospect, was released Read more 

Chemical sector voices concerns at UK’s no-deal Brexit guidance

25 September 2018 - British chemical manufacturers and industry experts have expressed fears that the UK government's approach to a no-deal Brexit could diminish competitiveness, duplicate registration duties and weaken the country's environmental credentials. Read more 

UK government publishes no-deal Brexit REACH notice

24 September 2018 -The UK government has released guidance on REACH in the event that Britain leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a trade deal. The paper – Regulating chemicals (REACH) if there’s no Brexit deal – spells out how businesses producing, registering, importing or exporting chemicals would be affected.Read more 

UK auditor: 'Serious damage' possible from no-deal Brexit

13 September 2018- Britain's chemical sector could be "seriously damaged" under a no-deal Brexit scenario and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) is ill equipped to address all of the risks on its own, the UK's National Audit Office has said. Read more 

Industry needs to prepare for no-deal Brexit – Germany’s VCI

29 August 2018- Chemicals trading between the UK and the EU could come to a "complete standstill" without a Brexit deal and it is "high time" for companies to prepare for this eventuality, the head of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) has warned. Read more 

UK Post-Brexit chemicals IT system could be 'ready tomorrow'

8 August 2018 - The UK's IT capability to enable the registration and regulation of chemical substances placed on the national market after Brexit, is mostly built and "would work" tomorrow if needed, the Health and Safety Executive has said. Read more 

UK HSE outlines contingencies for no-deal Brexit workforce

8 August 2018 - Preparations are underway at the UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for changes to the chemicals regulation division workforce, in the event of Britain leaving the EU next year without a deal. Extra staff would be needed, Dave Bench, the executive's  Read more 

Brexit could leave UK products with EU Ecolabel in limbo

3 August 2018- UK products and services carrying the EU Ecolabel face an uncertain future after Brexit because their licence will no longer be recognised in European markets, officials and observers have said. Once Britain leaves the EU in March next year,  Read more 

'No-deal' Brexit could make UK chemicals dumping ground

3 August 2018- Chemicals banned in Europe could "find their way" to the UK if its domestic chemicals regulations do not keep pace with EU legislation following a no-deal Brexit, environmental groups have said. With less than eight months until Britain is set to leave the EU and no agreement yet in sight, there is increasing talk about the prospect of a disorderly exit.Read more 

REACH candidate list process ‘will speed up’ after Brexit

25 July 2018- The process of identifying substances of very high concern and adding them to the REACH candidate list is likely to happen quicker, once the UK leaves the EU, NGOs have said. Once the country withdraws in March next year Read more 

EDCs and REACH concerns surface in UK/India trade review

23 July 2018 - A UK-India joint trade review has revealed India's frustrations with EU chemicals regulations and suggests it would like flexibility on substances regulated under REACH and endocrine disruptors in a possible post-Brexit trade deal. Read more 

General - BrexitBriefing

UK HSE issues Brexit advice to chemicals industry

19 July 2018 - The UK's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has updated its Brexit webpages with advice for Britain's chemicals industry, including in the case of no agreement being reached with the EU. The agency says its priorities are to ensure the UK's continued effective and safe management of chemicals, maintain its ability to respond Read more 

UK 'no-deal' Brexit chemicals plan due in autumn

19 July 2018 - The UK’s environment ministry (Defra) is working on a "large and detailed" draft of a statutory instrument to transfer the "responsibilities and operability" of Echa to a UK agency in the event of a no-deal Brexit scenario. The draft should be laid out in Parliament this autumn, Defra’s deputy director of EU environment Gabrielle Edwards told a House of Lords select committee on 18 July. Read more 

UK Brexit White Paper repeats calls for Echa participation

12 July 2018- The UK has reiterated its desire for associate membership of Echa in a new Brexit White Paper that sets the government’s vision for a future economic partnership with the EU. Being an associate member, with active participation and financial contributions– albeit without voting rights Read more 

UK must follow EU FCM legislation after Brexit, says trade group

4 July 2018- EU regulations on food contact materials must be enshrined into UK law, to ensure the British public has the same level of protection after Brexit, according to trade group, the Foodservice Packaging Association. The FPA has lobbied the Food Standards Agency to ensure that UK laws continue to align with EU regulations in future. Read more 

NGO launches Brexit and chemicals blog

21 June 2018- UK NGO CHEM Trust has set up a blog containing perspectives and news on chemicals regulations as Britain prepares to leave the EU. In it, the NGO say it agrees with Cefic’s calls for a Read more 

Cefic calls for post-Brexit bilateral chemicals regulations agreement

15 June 2018- The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) has urged Brexit negotiators to secure a bilateral agreement between the EU and UK that allows continued British participation in the implementation of regulations administered by Echa. Read more 

Brexit showing ‘little impact’ on 2018 REACH registrations – Hansen

7 June 2018- Registration figures under the 2018 REACH deadline show there is "no indication" that UK companies are not fulfilling their obligations under the Regulation, Echa head Bjorn Hansen said. Read more 

Downstream users of UK REACH registrations ‘could become importers’ post-Brexit

29 May 2018- The European Chemical Industry Council, Cefic, has put forward the idea of allowing the transfer of UK REACH registrations to downstream users of those chemicals in the EU to ensure their continued use after Brexit.Read more 

Ireland’s HSA launches Brexit webpages

25 May 2018- The Irish Health and Safety Authority has created webpages to keep businesses informed, including those in the chemicals industry, of the potential impacts of Brexit. In a hard Brexit scenario – in which Britain becomes a third country Read more 

CW report highlights main messages from second Brexit conference

21 May 2018-The need for better EU-UK supply chain awareness is among key points highlighted in a recently published Chemical Watch report on its second Brexit conference. While UK industry is aware of the consequences of a possible hard Brexit – no access to the single market, customs union or Echa – companies in the EU need to Read more 

UK proposes post-Brexit environmental body

17 May 2018- The UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced plans to establish an independent and statutory environmental watchdog by the end of 2020. The plans form part of a proposed Environmental Principles and Governance bill, which will hold Whitehall to account on delivering  Read more 

Post-Brexit IT failure a ‘substantial risk’ to UK chemicals industry

10 May 2018- MPs have said there are "substantial risks", including disruption to the UK’s chemicals industry, if the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) is unable to properly update its IT systems before the UK leaves the EU. Read more 

CIA urges UK government accord on Echa associate membership

10 May 2018-The UK Chemical Industries Association is calling for swift progress towards a "joined-up" approach between itself and the British government on a post-Brexit associate membership of Echa. Such an approach would pave the way to advancing proposal talks at EU level, CIA head Steve Elliott has told Chemical Watch. Read more 

UK's ability to keep pace with REACH changes threatened by Bill amendment

3 May 2018- As the UK government prepares for the end of the House of Lords review of its EU Withdrawal Bill, sources close to the process have warned that one of the amendments adopted by the Lords would, if included in the final text of the Bill, make it extremely difficult for the UK to adopt updates to REACH post Brexit.Read more 

Car parts suppliers called to action on REACH, Brexit

1 May 2018 - European automotive parts suppliers have been given recommendations on addressing the upcoming challenges of REACH and Brexit. At last month’s materials regulation conference, organised by the European Association of Automotive Suppliers (Clepa)Read more 

UK chemicals industry sees progress, but Brexit 'clock ticking furiously'

19 April 2018- With less than a year to go until the UK is expected to leave the EU, the British chemicals sector is now "perhaps at its highest level of visibility and political resonance" for at least a decade, Chemical Industries Association head Steve Elliott has said. Read more 

Aise, UKCPI urge EU Brexit negotiator to avoid regulatory divergence

12 April 2018 - Trade associations representing the cleaning products sector have written to the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier to call for any Brexit outcome that creates regulatory divergence between the trade bloc and the UK to be avoided.Read more 

UK coatings sector urged to speak with one voice on Brexit

12 April 2018 - Stakeholders in the UK’s coatings industry must unite in order to get the best reception to their Brexit concerns from the British government and the EU, delegates at a seminar this week heard. Speaking at the Halfway to Brexit event, organised by the British Coatings Federation and the British Adhesives and Sealants  Read more 

Germany’s VCI warns of 'serious consequences' from a hard Brexit

4 April 2018 - The German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) has warned of the "immediate and particularly serious consequences" of a so-called hard Brexit on the European chemicals industry. Such a scenario would see the UK leave the EU without a trade deal in place and no longer part of either the single market or customs union. Nor would it have access to European agencies such as Echa. Read more 

UK starts work on post-Brexit chemicals registration system

29 March 2018 - The UK government has started work on the delivery of new IT capability, to enable the registration and regulation of chemical substances placed on the national market. In a written answer to a question posed by an MP Read more 

EU's post-Brexit guidelines exclude UK role in Echa

26 March 2018 -In guidelines published last week on the future relationship between the UK and the European Union, the EU27 countries have repeated their stance that Britain will play no role in EU agencies, such as Echa. In the document, published by the European Council, the EU27 reiterate that the Union "will preserve its autonomy as regards its decision making, which excludes participation of the United Kingdom  Read more 

Brexit uncertainty forcing UK-based firms to act

22 March 2018- With just 12 months to go before the UK is expected to leave the EU, a third of UK-based companies are actively organising or planning to move some of their operations out of the UK because of the regulatory uncertainty, according to a Chemical Watch survey. Read more 

Chemicals industry welcomes Brexit transition period agreement

20 March 2018 - Cefic and the UK chemicals industry have broadly welcomed a conditional agreement between Britain and the EU on the transition period, after the country leaves the Union. Yesterday’s accord between EU negotiator Michel Barnier and his UK counterpart David Davis is dependent on both sides agreeing a final  Read more 

Green network joins call for UK to remain in REACH

7 March 2018 - Ending the UK’s involvement in REACH "could have serious consequences", a British network of bodies promoting environmental sustainability has said in a letter addressed to peers in Parliament's House of Lords. The Environmental Policy Forum (EPF) is comprised of 70,000 environmental professionals who act on political developments to ensure sustainability is high on policy agendas.Read more 

Prime minister: UK to seek 'associate membership' of Echa

5 March 2018 - The British government is to seek "associate membership" of Echa and other European agencies as part of the EU withdrawal negotiations, UK prime minister Theresa May has told an audience in London. In her third major address on Brexit on Friday, Ms May said the country  Read more 

CIA cements Brexit stance in new guide

1 March 2018 - The UK's Chemical Industries Association (CIA) and law firm Squire Patton Boggs have jointly produced a guide that sets out critical issues for the chemicals industry as Britain prepares to leave the EU. CIA has repeated its stance that the UK chemicals industry wants to continue to secure access to the EU market by remaining "fully within REACH," or as close as possible to it. Read more 

‘No sense’ abandoning Echa, EU agencies – UK opposition leader

28 February 2018 -In a major speech on future relations with the EU, UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn (pictured) has backed continued British membership of European agencies such as Echa and Efsa, and urged a new comprehensive UK-EU customs union.Read more 

Irish chemicals sector could face post-Brexit slump – report

26 February 2018- Regulatory divergence between EU and UK chemical laws after Brexit could reduce Ireland’s export volumes in the sector, according to an Irish government report. The report – Ireland and the impacts of Brexit – points out that the two countries share a supply chain and if Britain left the EU single market and reverted to WTO rules, Ireland's chemicals and pharmaceutical exports and production could be 5% lower by 2030. Read more 

EU notifies distributors of post-Brexit 'importer' status

8 February 2018 - The European Commission has notified members of the industrial products supply chain about a change to the status of EU distributors selling products shipped from the UK, once the country leaves the Union. Companies in the EU27 currently defined as ‘distributors’ under EU legislation and which receive goods from a manufacturer or importer in the UK will, from the UK withdrawal date – and subject to any Read more 

UK minister offers Brexit scraps to Parliament

7 February 2018 -UK junior environment minister Therese Coffey told a 1 February parliamentary debate on Brexit and chemical regulation that the government wants existing UK registrations, authorisations and approvals to remain valid post-Brexit. But she failed to say whether it wants British regulations to remain identical to REACH and other EU regulatory frameworks, once the transition period ends. Read more 

People - Steve Baker MP

UK law body backs post-Brexit Echa participation

5 February 2018 - The UK Environmental Law Association says it would be "highly beneficial" from both "an environmental and a practical perspective" for the UK to retain participation in Echa. The UKELA is a body of 1,400 environmental law professionals in the UK. Its recent report Brexit and Environmental Law – the UK and European Cooperation Bodies, explores the benefits to the country of continued participation in the agency, and the ramifications of no involvement. Read more 

ORO publishes new Brexit advice for only representatives

1 February 2018 - The Only Representative Organisation (ORO) is encouraging only representatives and importers to start engaging with their supply chain on their future plans, should UK/EU negotiations result in a ‘hard’ Brexit. In a paper released Read more 

UK authorises £5.8m for post-Brexit chemical registration IT

25 January 2018 - The UK's Secretary of State for the Environment has authorised spending on IT capability to enable registration and regulation of chemicals placed on the UK market. The project is scheduled to begin next month.Read more 

UK scientific body: Brexit negotiators must prioritise chemicals regulation

18 January 2018 -UK Brexit negotiators should aim to achieve a regulatory system that balances innovation, environmental and human health protection, and enables trade internationally, the Royal Society of Chemistry has said. In a position posted recently on the society’s website, Camilla  Read more 

Government promise of UK chemicals strategy ‘helpful’, CIA says

15 January 2018 - The UK government’s proposal to publish a chemicals strategy, while it continues its process of leaving the EU is "helpful", says Chemical Industries Association head Steve Elliott. The promise was included in the 25-year environment plan, published last week by the environment ministry (Defra). Read more 

UK promises post-Brexit chemicals strategy that reflects future relations with EU

11 January 2018-The UK says it will publish an "overarching" chemicals strategy to tackle "chemicals of national concern" for when the country leaves the EU in March 2019. The promise is included in a 150-page document, A green future: our 25 year plan to improve the environment, which sets the government’s long-term environment goals.Read more 

Plastics trade groups call for mutual acceptance of REACH after Brexit

11 January 2018 -Two European and UK plastics industry associations have called on the EU and British government to ensure the mutual acceptance of REACH after Britain leaves the EU in 2019. In a joint statement, trade bodies the European Plastics Converters and the British Plastics Federation, said an uncontrolled or hard Brexit is the worst case scenario for the European plastics converting industry on both sides of the English Channel.Read more 

Industry gets chance to voice Brexit views

4 January 2018 - A detailed picture of company expectations on the business impacts of Brexit will be compiled from a major survey, which Chemical Watch is running over the coming weeks. The survey is split into different sections, according to the location and type of operation of the respondent. We will analyse and disseminate findings widely, in the next few months.Read more 

UK business body backs remaining with Echa post-Brexit

3 January 2018 - The Confederation of British Industry, an organisation representing 190,000 UK businesses, has recommended that the UK remains "within Echa and its associated regulatory frameworks" after Brexit. In a December report The room where it happens: Read more 

REACH to be converted into UK law, government confirms

21 December 2017 - Current EU chemicals law, including REACH, will be incorporated into UK law, Steve Baker, a junior minister in the UK’s Department for Exiting the European Union, has told MPs. Speaking yesterday at a House of Commons debateRead more 

Brexit - mind the gap © bluedesign - Fotolia.com

UK government wants Brexit deal validity for REACH registrations

23 November 2017- The UK government has reaffirmed its position that it wants existing REACH registrations and authorisations to remain valid in both the EU and UK markets after Brexit.Read more 

Chemicals industry 'must work together' to limit Brexit damage

21 November 2017 -Brexit is an "exercise in damage limitation" and the chemicals industry needs to work together to achieve this, the chair of Cefic's Brexit taskforce has said. Speaking at a Chemical Industries Association (CIA) Read more 

Cefic, CIA spell out ‘hard’ Brexit costs to chemicals industry

15 November 2017- Failure to secure a transition period and a new UK/EU trade agreement after Britain leaves the Union could cost the chemicals industry an extra €1.5bn a year, according to chemical bodies Read more 

UK 'not winding down' EU chemicals policy work

2 November 2017 -With less than 18 months to go before the UK leaves the EU, the government’s role in the Union’s chemicals policy is not diminishing, the Health and Safety Executive and UK REACH Competent Authority’s Andrew Smith has said. Read more 

CW report captures key messages from Brexit conference

31 October 2017- The uncertainty for business after the UK’s exit from the EU is among key points highlighted in a recently published Chemical Watch report on its inaugural Brexit conference. Read more 

UK needs access to Echa after Brexit, cosmetics trade body says

26 October 2017-A UK REACH law that separates the country from authorities like Echa after it leaves the EU, would be detrimental for companies in the chemical and cosmetics sectors, the UK cosmetics trade body has warned. The Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) submitted its Read more 

Maintaining REACH ‘only viable option’ for UK

26 October 2017-Maintaining REACH and remaining within the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice is "the only viable option" for the UK’s future chemicals policy, NGO Greener Alliance has said. In comments to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Read more 

UK government ‘fails to recognise’ chemicals regulatory issues

25 October 2017-The UK government’s response to a parliamentary committee report on chemicals regulation after Brexit "fails to recognise the unique nature of the regulatory issues facing industry", the Chemical Business Association (CBA) has said.Read more 

REACH ‘passport to global marketplace’, CIA head tells Brexit committee

24 October 2017- REACH is "setting the bar" in terms of global standards and is "the passport to the global marketplace", the head of the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has told a UK parliamentary inquiry. During an evidence session on 18 October with the Committee on Exiting the European Union, Read more 

Businesses ‘need to speak up’ for a better Brexit

2 October 201- The UK chemicals industry needs to unite and make its voice heard to ensure the best possible regulatory scenario after the country withdraws from the EU, a recent Brexit conference has heard. Read more 

CBA urges UK government to adopt REACH into national law

26 September 2017-The UK Chemical Business Association says the pragmatic and most cost-effective way forward for chemical policy after Brexit is for Britain to adopt REACH, CLP and biocides legislation into UK law "on exactly the same institutional, functional and legislative terms as they are currently operating".Read more 

Echa clarifies Brexit impacts on UK, EU regulatory obligations

26 September 2017 -Echa has launched a webpage that explains what will happen to the regulatory obligations of UK entities and EU member states, as well as agency operations, following Brexit. Read more 

Staring over the edge

September 2017-The UK government has produced a set of position papers for the Brexit negotiations. These papers have at long last shed more light on the UK government’s intentions and plans for the future. The more gradual approach, with added detail on aspirations for transitional arrangements, has been welcomed as reassuring by industry.  Read more 

The future of chemicals policy - what can we learn from the past?

September 2017-n 2016, the European Commission published two fitness check roadmaps. One of these covered the CLP Regulation and other relevant chemicals legislation, excluding REACH. This was aimed at assessing the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU added-value of CLP  Read more 

Cefic suggests post-Brexit ‘grandfathering’ of REACH substances

21 September 2017 - Substances registered under REACH by UK companies, or those which have been granted an authorisation after a UK application, should be "grandfathered" after Brexit, Europe's chemical industry council Cefic said. Grandfathering is the act of exempting something from new legislation or requirements.Read more 

ORO provides clarity around Brexit only representative transfers

14 September 2017 - The Only Representative Organisation (ORO) says it is sticking to its position that a ‘defensive switch’ – where companies with an only representative (OR) based in the UK should consider moving to one based elsewhere in the EU following Brexit – is not necessary. Read more 

Brexit bill 'plays Russian roulette' with environmental law

13 September 2017 - Swathes of environmental law will be lost after Brexit because the UK’s European Union Withdrawal Bill fails to retain all EU laws or guarantee that they will not be weakened, NGO ClientEarth says in a report. Earlier this week, the bill passed its first stage of voting. Next, MPs will scrutinise it in a committee – the date for which is yet to be announced.Read more 

CIA urges UK government not to diverge from REACH

7 September 2017- In its clearest statement yet on its attitude to REACH, the UK Chemical Industries Association says it wants the UK to remain in all of the REACH processes, "warts and all". The association's support
Read more 

UK Brexit paper 'reassuring' for chemical industry's commitments

24 August 2017- UK businesses "should not be required to duplicate" compliance activities, such as those obligations under EU chemicals regulations, when the country leaves the EU, the British government has said in its latest Brexit position paper.Read more 

Interim customs proposal casts doubt over UK regulatory continuity

17 August 2017- The UK government’s proposal for an interim Customs Union agreement after Brexit could bring about regulatory uncertainty, the Chemical Industries Association says. In its policy paper released on Tuesday, Read more 

Brexit - cogs © EtiAmmos - Fotolia.com

Uncertainty reigns as Brexit rolls on

August 2017 -U-Pol is a supplier of products for the collision and damage market - and it is important to note that the company is an exporter. Indeed, exports are approximately 80% of its sales, with major markets in the US, Canada, France, Australia, Russia and China, while upwards of 90% of the company’s suppliers are in Europe, including the UK.  Read more 

UK outlines EU chemicals policy commitments

25 July 2017 - The UK has confirmed that it will continue to attend and actively participate in Echa and European Commission fora while Brexit negotiations continue. However, it is unable to say whether it can commit to any new substance evaluation Read more 

UK minister wants REACH ‘mutual recognition’ accord

20 July 2017-The UK intends to secure an early ‘mutual recognition’ agreement on chemicals policy with the EU before it exits the Union, the country’s lead minister on chemicals policy has said.Read more 


Animal welfare NGO: Brexit could harm alternative test methods

18 July 2017- The UK government needs to give a "clear commitment" that EU regulations aimed at phasing out animal testing will not be dismantled after Brexit, an animal welfare NGO has said.Read more 

EU textiles trade association backs 'soft' Brexit

30 June 2017 - A European textiles industry association has warned that a 'hard' Brexit – where the UK leaves the EU and the single market entirely – risks regulatory divergence and therefore an increase in costs to companies. Read more 

Chemical industry: ‘greater consensus needed’ as Brexit talks begin

23 June 2017 - The UK’s chemical industry has called for broad agreement on Brexit priorities as formal talks between EU and UK negotiators got underway in Brussels this week.At its council meeting on 15 June, the Chemical Industries Association Read more 

Irish downstream users warned of 'significant' Brexit challenges

21 June 2017 -Irish downstream users of chemicals have been told of the serious problems they could face when the UK leaves the EU, and warned they need to start thinking about their supply chains immediately. Read more 

UK chemical trade bodies: 'soft' Brexit now more likely

15 June 2017 - UK prime minister Theresa May’s failure to secure a majority for her Conservative party at the general election last week could mean a ‘soft’ Brexit is more likely, according to chemical industry associations. A ‘soft’ Brexit, they say, might mean the UK retains access to the EU single market, the Customs Union and free movement of skilled  Read more 

Brexit raises fears over separate UK/EU chemical regulations

5 May 2017 - Seven out of ten companies say the impact of separate UK chemical regulatory requirements for countries that trade with the EU would be negative, according to a major Brexit survey. More than 100 UK and non-UK based members of  Read more 

MPs call for clarity on Brexit chemicals regulation

2 May 2017 - MPs have called on the UK government to provide certainty to the chemical industry over the future of its regulation urgently as the country negotiates Brexit terms. "The government has admitted it will be difficult to transpose regulations, such as REACH, into UK law, yet it has not yet offered  Read more 

Coatings sector concern over UK REACH, CLP rules

7 April 2017 -More than three-quarters of coating companies say that, as the UK begins negotiations to exit the EU, separate chemicals regulation requirements in the country would be 'negative' or 'overwhelmingly negative' for their business. Read more 

CIA, Cefic urge chemicals trade certainty after Brexit trigger

29 March 2017 - The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has called on UK prime minister Theresa May to secure the best deal for the chemicals industry, following today’s triggering of Article 50 to start the Brexit process. Read more 

UK MPs quiz minister on post-Brexit REACH plans

10 March 2017- MPs used the last session of their inquiry into the future shape of UK chemicals regulation after Brexit to press the government on the extent to which it plans to replicate REACH – but got few clear answers. Junior environment minister Thérèse Coffey, the lead minister on Read more 

UK 'must pursue' REACH changes to secure distributor access to EU

3 March 2017 - The UK's Chemical Business Association (CBA) has urged the government to push for changes to REACH provisions to ensure continued European market access for UK chemical distributors after Brexit. Read more 

UK chemicals bodies moot EU 'mutual agreement' on authorisation

2 March 2017 - The UK could seek a 'mutual agreement' with the EU to mirror elements of the REACH authorisation process in UK law, national chemical trade bodies told a UK parliamentary inquiry. Read more 

Strengthen chemicals industry for Brexit, CIA tells UK government

2 March 2017 - The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has urged the government’s chief finance minister to take immediate action to strengthen the UK chemicals industry rather than adopt a 'wait and see' policy on Brexit. Read more 

UK should ‘maximise influence’ on EU chemical talks post-Brexit

15 February 2017 - The UK must continue to push its “informal influence” on EU discussions on chemicals legislation following Brexit, a House of Lords committee says in a report. Read more 

Brexit transition period could prevent chemicals ‘market freeze’

8 February 2017 - A transitional period is needed from the day the UK leaves the EU in order to prevent a chemicals ‘market freeze’, a law firm told a UK Parliament inquiry in the future of the country's chemical regulations. Read more 

Brexit solution must prevent 'divergence' between UK regions

3 February 2017- The UK government needs to work with the administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to agree a harmonised approach to chemicals policy to avoid negative impacts to competitiveness and industry following Brexit,.. Read more 

Brexit throws REACH data ownership into question

2 February 2017- If UK authorities decided to move post-Brexit chemical regulations away from the EU’s REACH system, national protection of public health and the environment would ‘inevitably’ be reduced, NGO CHEM Trust says. Read more 

Leaving REACH system ‘would reduce level of protection’ for UK

26 January 2017- If UK authorities decided to move post-Brexit chemical regulations away from the EU’s REACH system, national protection of public health and the environment would ‘inevitably’ be reduced, NGO CHEM Trust says. Read more 

UK chemical industry ‘must unite’ under new Brexit plan

18 January 2017- Prime minister Theresa May’s comments that the UK will exit the European single market mean the national chemical community must play its part to inform the government on getting the best deal with the union, says a national chemicals sector trade body. Read more 

UK MPs launch inquiry into REACH and Brexit

5 January 2017 - The UK parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee’s second inquiry into the future of environmental law and policy, following the EU Referendum, will focus on the scope of REACH in the country. The inquiry... Read more 

UK must maintain its voice in EU policy meetings, warns CIA

5 January 2017 - The head of the Chemical Industry Association (CIA) has warned that UK officials are making a smaller contribution to EU chemical policy discussions because of their focus on how Brexit can be carried out. And other member states are less inclined to listen to their views, now the UK has voted to leave the trade bloc. Read more 

Brexit: is a UK-REACH Regulation on its way?

December 2016 - The argument that REACH is one of the most burdensome EU regulations has been a hot topic of discussion in the run up to the EU referendum, where the UK voted to leave the EU. While this has been voiced by many from industry, it can’t be denied that REACH has become essential for the UK chemical industry to access the EU single market. Read more 

‘Predominance of access to market issue ‘noted’, says Brexit minister

24 November 2016 - UK junior Brexit minister, Robin Walker, has told a chemical industry conference that his department recognises the importance chemical manufacturers in Britain attach to being able to trade freely with the EU, after it has left the trade bloc. Read more 

‘Hard’ Brexit could signal end of REACH in UK

16 November 2016 - If, on the day the UK leaves the EU, it loses its access to the European single market, it is highly likely that REACH will cease to apply in the country, says consultancy REACHLaw. Speaking at Chemical Watch’s recent European Enforcement Summit in Brussels, the firm’s head of global compliance, Riku Rinta-Jouppi, said ... Read more 

Preparing for Brexit

1 November 2016 - There is a cloud of uncertainty around Brexit, as well as confusion about how it may impact the chemical industry, both in the UK and EU. Until there is more political clarity – particularly on the relationship the UK will have with the EU in the future – this is likely to continue. Read more 

UK downstream sectors consider post-Brexit stance on REACH

1 November 2016 - A snapshot survey of UK trade bodies representing downstream industrial sectors, shows they have a range of attitudes on whether the UK should continue to implement REACH and other EU chemical legislation post Brexit... Read more 

Brexit could mean more risk-based chemicals regulation, CIA says

26 October 2016 - A post-Brexit UK could mean chemicals legislation that brings a more risk-based approach to policy, the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) says. Read more 

Brexit could hit in vitro uptake warn campaigners

26 July 2016 - The UK's exit from the EU could lead to more animal testing of chemical substances, a campaign group has warned. The UK National Anti-Vivisection Society (Navs) says Brexit could see the country roll back EU legislation designed to reduce animal testing for the purposes of determining toxicity and encourage use of Read more 

UK chemicals forum hears Brexit concerns

28 July 2016 - The effects of the UK’s vote to leave the EU was a key issue at this week’s meeting of the UK environment department’s stakeholder group on chemicals policy. The Chemicals Stakeholder Forum, which includes representatives from government, business and civil society groups, heard that, even though nothing is yet known about the UK government’s negotiating position in its forthcoming Brexit talks with the European Commission Read more 

UK firms should comply with 2018 deadline, says CIA head

14 July 2016 - The argument that UK chemical companies need not register substances under the final 2018 REACH deadline would not be backed by the country's chemical manufacturers trade body. Speaking to Chemical Watch, after last month's  Read more 

UK government urges firms to press on with 2018 registrations

13 July 2016 - Following the UK’s decision on 23 June to leave the EU, the government is seeking to ensure that there will still be a high level of compliance with the 2018 REACH registration deadline, and that potential disruption  Read more  

Advice to switch to ORs outside the UK is ‘unfounded’

12 July 2016 - Suggestions that companies with an only representative (OR), based in the UK, should consider a “defensive switch” to one based elsewhere in the EU, following the UK’s vote on 23 June to leave the EU, are “unfounded from a regulatory and commercial perspective”, said a trade body representing many ORs. Read more (free trial registration required)

Echa appoints senior official as Brexit ‘contact point’

28 June 2016 - Echa has responded to the Brexit crisis by appointing Andreas Herdina, head of its communications and outreach directorate, as its “contact point” for British companies and for its own British staff. His task will be to ensure that Echa takes a “single consolidated position” towards British companies and staff and that he acts as a reference point on Brexit matters. Read more (free trial registration required)

UK trade bodies prepare for Brexit uncertainties

24 June 2016 - Some of the biggest UK industry associations have called on their government to clarify what the referendum vote to exit the European Union will mean for trade, as they prepare for it to trigger instability in their markets. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) called the vote “a momentous turning point”. “Many businesses will be concerned and need time to assess the implications. But they are used to dealing with challenge and change and we should be confident they will adapt,” said CBI director general, Carolyn Fairbairn. Read more 

UK chemicals industry ‘pragmatic’ about impact of Brexit vote

24 June 2016 - UK chemical industry associations say the sector will continue to take a "pragmatic" approach and can even "prosper", following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Steve Elliott, chief executive of the Chemical Industries Association, said: “It is not the decision that our sector wanted [but] I am confident that an important and resilient industry, such as ours, can prosper in this new situation.” Read more 

Brexit vote raises legal questions

24 June 2016 - The result of yesterday’s UK referendum in favour of leaving the EU raises important questions about how UK-based companies’ obligations under REACH will change, say law firms and consultancies. Unless the UK decides unilaterally, and in breach of its obligation under the EU Treaty, to no longer be subject to existing EU Regulation, said Jean-Philippe Montfort of law firm Mayer Brown, REACH will continue to apply in the UK until it has left the EU. Read more 

UK vote shows need for deregulation, say EU business groups

24 June 2016 - The result of the UK referendum on membership of the EU “made it clear” that the trade bloc must “improve its performance”, starting with a “substantial reduction in bureaucracy for small firms”, says European SMEs trade body Ueapme. Describing the result as “a wake-up call for Europe” and “detrimental for the UK, the other European countries and European SMEs in their efforts towards jobs and growth”, Ueapme president Ulrike Rabmer-Koller said it is “a strong call for a reform of the Europe Union. Read more 

Will Brexit mean avoiding the burden of REACH?

May 2016 - One of the key arguments for leaving the EU has been that Brussels is shackling the member states with excessively burdensome environment, health and safety (EHS) regulations. Among the many regulations, REACH has been identified as the most burdensome for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). So, would leaving the EU mean British SMEs are no longer covered by REACH? Here are some preliminary thoughts about the possible effects Brexit could have on future UK chemicals policy. Read more  (free trial registration required)

Guest column – Nigel Haigh, CHEM Trust trustee

May 2016 - Cleaner water and air, better managed waste, protected habitats, safer beaches – these are some of the benefits that citizens in EU countries have enjoyed over the last forty years. These could not have been achieved as effectively without the combined political and scientific might, and skilled transboundary and cross-cultural negotiations, that are at the heart of the EU policy-making machine.
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