‘…The model they have proposed would reduce the need for replicating EU REACH data packages by placing greater emphasis on improving our understanding of the uses and exposure of chemicals in the GB context.’
The UK Government has said that it wants to ‘…explore whether there are opportunities to reduce the need for industry to replicate existing EU REACH data by placing a greater emphasis on understanding how chemicals are used in GB.’
The Government’s position coincided with an open letter to the UK’s Chemical Industries Association in which George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs said; ‘I am aware of concerns around accessing data packages to support UK REACH transition, including the cost to businesses. Because of that, I have asked my officials to work with the Health and Safety Executive and Environment Agency to explore a new model for transitional registrations. The model they have proposed would reduce the need for replicating EU REACH data packages by placing greater emphasis on improving our understanding of the uses and exposures of chemicals in the GB context.’
The EU REACH Regulation was brought into UK law on 1 January 2021, and is known as UK REACH. This applies to businesses that import, make, sell or distribute in Great Britain, whether as raw materials or in their finished state.
Eustice added; ‘Although it too early to commit to a new model, we want to further explore its potential. We would therefore like to engage with industry and other interested stakeholders over the next few months to develop this model in more detail.’
Under the UK REACH transitional provisions, October 2021 saw companies provide initial registration data. However, the Government is considering extending the full registration deadline, currently October 2023, so that it can ‘fully explore an alternative registration model and, if we want to proceed with it, to develop and pass the necessary legislation.’
During October 2020, the Chair of the Government’s EU Environment Sub-Committee wrote to the Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs expressing concerns about the Government’s plans for the UK’s chemical regulation after leaving the European Union.