Consultation on Extending the UK REACH Submission Deadlines

Closes 1 Sep 2022

Opened 5 Jul 2022

Overview

We would like to know what you think about our proposed measure to extend the current UK REACH submission deadlines for transitional registrations.

The UK REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation[1] is one of the main pieces of legislation for the regulation of chemicals in Great Britain. It established the UK REACH regime (UK REACH), which regulates the use of substances in Great Britain as EU REACH continues to apply in Northern Ireland[2]. UK REACH requires substances that are manufactured in, or imported into, GB to be registered with the Agency for UK REACH (the Health and Safety Executive ((HSE)). Registrations include information on the hazards, uses and exposure of the substance.  Registration information is used by HSE for regulatory purposes and by the registrants to identify appropriate risk management measures for themselves and other users down the supply chain.

The UK REACH Regulation contains transitional provisions to reduce the disruption to industry as they moved to the new regime from EU REACH. These provisions allow companies to submit initial ‘notification’ data in order to continue trading and then subsequently provide the full registration data. The transitional provisions apply to those that were registrants, downstream users or distributors under EU REACH before UK REACH came into effect. The current deadlines for completing this transitional registration process, depending on tonnage and hazard profile of the substance, are:

  • October 2023 for substances included on the EU REACH candidate list before UK REACH came into effect; substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction and manufactured or imported in quantities of 1 tonne a year or more; substances that are very toxic to aquatic life and manufactured or imported in quantities of 100 tonnes or more a year; and all substances manufactured or imported in quantities of 1,000 tonnes or more a year.
  • October 2025 for substances added to the UK REACH candidate list before the above submission deadline; and all substances manufactured or imported in quantities of 100 tonnes or more a year.
  • October 2027 for all substances manufactured or imported in quantities of 1 tonne or more a year.

In response to concerns raised by stakeholders around the cost of acquiring the data to complete their registrations, the government is working with stakeholders to explore an alternative transitional registration model. The aim of this model is to reduce costs to businesses of transitioning from EU REACH to UK REACH whilst maintaining or improving existing human health and environment protections, in line with our international commitments. Developing a new model is highly technical and complex and time is needed to develop a firm proposal. If a suitable model is found, operational (e.g., IT development) and legislative changes would need to be made to implement it.

The first of the current registration submission deadlines is in October 2023, therefore amendments to the current legislation are necessary to extend the deadlines to ensure there is sufficient time for substantive development of the policy, and to make operational and legislative changes to implement the new model. Industry will also need time to prepare for compliance with it. Extending the deadlines will reduce the likelihood of companies making nugatory investments in complying with current deadlines and data requirements. It will allow them time to plan their business decisions in relation to the extended deadlines. 

 This consultation also covers the proposal to extend the legislative timelines for the UK regulator to carry out the compliance checks on 20% of registration dossiers required under Article 41 of the UK REACH Regulation[3].  These need to be amended to ensure that they apply after the relevant submission dates have passed, otherwise no data may have been submitted for the Agency to carry out compliance checks on. 

A ministerial statement on the consistency of the proposed amendments with Article 1 of the REACH Regulation (the Article 1 Consistency Statement) is published alongside this consultation.

[1] Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (EUR 2006/1907).

[2] The Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland in the EU withdrawal agreement (the “NI Protocol”).

[3] Article 41(5) - to check compliance of registration dossiers the Agency shall select, until 31 December 2023, a percentage of those dossiers no lower than 20 % of the total received by the Agency for registrations in tonnage bands of 100 tonnes or more per year. The Agency shall, until 31 December 2027, also select a percentage no lower than 20 % of the total received by the Agency for registrations in tonnage bands of less than 100 tonnes per year.

Please respond to this consultation in one of the following ways:

Online using the Citizen Space consultation hub at Defra https://consult.defra.gov.uk/

For ease of analysis, responses via the Citizen Space platform would be preferred, but alternative options are provided below if required:

By email: REACHextension@defra.gov.uk

In writing to:

Extension on UK REACH Submission Deadlines Consultation

REACH Policy and Legislation Team

Ground Floor, Seacole Building

2 Marsham Street

London

SW1P 4DF

Give us your views

Audiences

  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • AWBs
  • Environmental campaigners
  • Employment Agencies
  • Food Business Operators
  • Food Industry
  • Government Departments
  • Government Agencies
  • Devolved Administrations
  • Industries and professional services
  • Water/water Industry sector
  • Environmental professional services
  • Local Authorities
  • Consumer Groups
  • Local Authorities
  • Manufacturing Industry
  • Member of the General Public
  • SME businesses
  • Water suppliers
  • Environmental Health Officers
  • Stakeholders

Interests

  • Natural environment
  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Climate change
  • Chemicals and pesticides
  • Local environments
  • DEFRA Policy