British Environmental Ministry and British Chemicals Association: UK Companies Must Meet REACH Requirements

The British Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has reminded British companies to fulfill their REACH obligations and register substances before the deadline on June 1, 2018. The British Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has done the same. In an open letter to the candidates for prime minister, the CIA demands unlimited access to the internal EU market for British companies. If that is to occur, companies must adhere to the requirements of REACH. Companies that do not do so endanger their commercial relationship with EU countries.

Regardless of the demands, British companies are still bound to observe EU law for at least two years because of the long and complex procedure for leaving the EU. First, the government officially give written notice of its intention to leave. Article 50 of the EU Treaty (Lisbon Treaty) enables such an exit. Negotiations on an exit treaty can begin only after written notification. The new treaty will define the future relationship between the negotiating parties on how trading of goods, services, and capital will occur. According to the EU Treaty, both parties will have two years to negotiate the modalities of the exit. After negotiations have ended, the European Council and the EU Parliament must approve the exit package.

But until all that occurs, EU law applies. The British Health and Safety Executive, the competent authority for REACH, continues to support primarily small and midsize companies and helps them meet their REACH requirements. The ECHA also offers companies numerous information and services.

In our blog series, we cover REACH 2018 from Step 1 to Step 6, discussing how companies are to register and what they need to note. If you have questions, please contact us at

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