UK REACH: British Industry Sounds the Alarm

The implementation of EU REACH into national law in Great Britain (UK REACH) has unpleasant consequences for companies in the UK that have been jointly registering chemicals within the context of SIEF and that do not have full access to substance data. UK REACH now requires a complete data package from these companies. That costs time and money.

According to information platform Chemical Watch, numerous associations and corporate representatives expressed disappointment and criticism at the second Brexit workshop sponsored by the British Health and Safety Executive (HSE) held in mid-October in London. The criticism was triggered by the announcement from the British Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) that companies must present complete data within two years to be able to register and market their chemicals legally. The ministry representative in charge, James Dancy, admitted that doing so is likely to be difficult and advised the affected companies to inspect their SIEF agreements in a first step.

The two-year period ignited the most criticism because it’s much too short, especially when studies must be repeated. It would also be complicated, said Jo Lloyd of the consulting firm Environmental Resources Management (ERM), when data from Asian countries like Taiwan and South Korea is to be transferred. These countries have much longer transition periods.

Some representatives, like David Ashworth of the British Association for Chemical Specialities (BACS), also see that in addition to the time problem, it is unclear exactly what data is being demanded when one speaks of a complete data package.

The scope of the uncertainty and the need for information is seen in the number of attendees at the workshop. More than 100 representatives took part, and the event was fully booked within a few hours. A third workshop is to be held in early 2019.

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