knoell – your partner in any BREXIT scenario!

11 October, 2018

At the moment much about Brexit can best be described as being “cloudy”! One thing for sure is that it will have a significant impact on the chemical industries of the UK and the EU-27, and all related industries which produce, use, trade, import or otherwise handle “substances”.

There are various scenarios as to the future relationship between the UK and the EU-27 and how that may affect chemical regulations. The most severe case is for the UK to leave the EU on 30th March 2019 at 0:00 CET: the so called “no deal option”. The UK will no longer be part of the single market and the customs union, or a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), and so EU laws do not apply in the UK from this day. That includes REACH. Both the UK government and ECHA have published guidance as to what will happen under these circumstances. Some key points are:

  • The UK government is confident with regard to chemicals management within the UK by adopting REACH as the basis for UK regulations but has developed its own IT system and has provided some information on actions and transitional periods for companies either manufacturing in the UK importing to the UK from the EEA.
  • However, within the EU there is more concern on how supply chains may remain intact. By definition European importers cannot simply continue sourcing from the UK; they need to obtain raw materials fulfilling all registration obligations within the EEA, which cannot any longer be performed by UK companies (manufacturers or importers) after the UK has left the EU.
  • ECHA is working on the possibility to transfer registrations from UK companies to European subsidiaries or to Only Representatives. This process is not covered by the current REACH regulation and some further consideration of the mechanisms to allow this need to be developed. Under REACH, the transfer of registrations is only considered between parties within the EEA.

We, as knoell, are actively following all developments related to chemicals management and BREXIT. We are doing so from both sides. Our European teams track the changes and challenges for European companies. Our global teams are already engaged in supporting and advising the non-UK EEA companies concerning their business managed via ORs and our UK teams assist UK companies.

Of course we are prepared to react on any agreement that might be concluded between the UK and the EU and present the best available service, advice and help to keep your supply chains and hence your business intact, no matter where you are and what your role will be in any BREXIT scenario.

In the event of a “no deal scenario” our services will cover, but are not limited to:

  • Supporting the transfer of registrations from UK companies to legal entities within the EU, acting as a “receiving OR” where appropriate;
  • Supporting European companies that need to take over lead registrant roles, where the current lead registrant is a UK based company
  • Supporting European importers in fulfilling their REACH obligations, which may include registration
  • Supporting UK companies with their “new” UK registrations
  • Supporting UK importers with their notification of REACH registered raw materials but note that a UK importer cannot then appoint an OR in the EU if they wish to re-export from the UK to the EU.
  • Negotiating with consortia and registrants with regard to obtaining required letters of access for REACH and for the new UK registration system
  • For non-UK-EU companies we can act as the Only Representative within the EEA, as well as a representative under new UK regulations

The UK government has not, as yet, given any guidance on how non-UK domiciled companies can register under the UK system but, if they adopt a system similar to REACH using an Only Representative, then knoell is well placed to support this via our UK team.

Contact us, we are here for you! We will establish a blog to keep you updated with the latest developments, therefore please stay tuned!

Dr. Iain A. MacKinnon Managing Director
+44 29 2034 9880 +44 29 2034 9889 send mail