European Chemicals Agency Prepares Companies for Brexit
The European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, has published new web pages intended to prepare companies for the United Kingdom’s upcoming withdrawal from the European Union, an action often referred to as “Brexit.” The U.K. is set to leave the EU at the end of March 2019. In November, the EU and the U.K. announced a draft withdrawal agreement, which needs to be ratified by both sides to take effect. As of early December, votes for ratification had not been scheduled in either the EU or the U.K. According to ECHA, Brexit will affect companies that manufacture and use chemicals in the U.K. and in the EU. Companies that have registered substances under the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation—which requires companies to identify and manage the risks linked to the substances they manufacture and market in the EU—or use authorized chemicals in supply chains will also be affected. REACH is one of several EU regulations that will be affected by Brexit, along with the EU's CLP regulation on the classification, labelling, and packaging of substances and mixtures; BPR, the Biocidal Products Regulation; and PIC, the EU regulation concerning the export and import of hazardous chemicals. Following Brexit, these regulations will no longer apply to U.K. companies that place chemical substances, mixtures or articles, biocidal products, or active substances on the market only in the U.K.; or to companies that export certain chemicals directly from the U.K. to non-EU and non-European Economic Area countries.  According to ECHA, the U.K. intends to make EU legislation valid within the U.K. after the withdrawal—at least temporarily. ECHA’s new web pages provide advice for companies based on their roles in the supply chain. Further information is available in ECHA’s news release.
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