Questions and answers for companies

The UKs withdrawal from the EU


What is the impact of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union for my United Kingdom-based company?

If your business of placing chemical substances, biocidal products or active substances on the market is limited to the territory of the United Kingdom, except for Northern Ireland, your activity is no longer subject to the provisions of the EU chemicals legislation. With regard to the obligations arising from the CLP, BPR, PIC and REACH Regulations, your legal obligations towards ECHA as the EU’s respective regulatory Agency have ceased. 

The EU REACH Regulation has been brought into UK law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. REACH, and related chemicals legislation, has been replicated in the United Kingdom with the necessary changes to make it operable in a domestic context. More information is available here.

For businesses that are part of a cross-border supply chain, linking companies located in the United Kingdom with companies located within the EU/EEA Member States, you can find detailed advice under the respective headings of these Q&As pages.

In Northern Ireland, REACH, CLP, BPR and PIC continue to apply. Please refer to Q&As 1700 - 1711 for an overview.

Are United Kingdom-based companies able to rely on ECHA helpdesk support for advice and assistance related to the EU chemical legislation?

Yes. With its withdrawal from the EU, the United Kingdom has become a so-called “third country”. The ECHA Helpdesk regularly replies to enquiries from companies based outside the EU/EEA. United Kingdom-based companies should address ECHA via the dedicated contact form.

The United Kingdom, except for Northern Ireland, has no obligation to maintain a national helpdesk to provide advice and assistance on matters governed by the EU’s CLP, BPR or REACH Regulations. You are advised to check with the UK authorities if they will nonetheless provide such advice in practice. You may also wish to address your industry association in the United Kingdom.

In Northern Ireland, REACH, CLP, BPR and PIC continue to apply. Please refer to Q&A 1700 - 1711 for an overview.

What is the impact of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on appeal proceedings before the Board of Appeal?

ECHA decisions concerning United Kingdom-based companies only apply until the end of the transition period, except for Northern Ireland.

If you, as a United Kingdom-based company and an addressee of an ECHA decision, decide to challenge that decision or have already challenged it before the Board of Appeal, this may mean that the contested ECHA decision will then cease to have legal effect. In this case, unless the appellant provides evidence as to the existence of a material interest in ECHA’s Board of Appeal continuing to handle its appeal, the appeal proceedings may be discontinued, as there would be no need for the Board of Appeal to rule on such an appeal.

Legal entities established in Northern Ireland can continue to lodge an appeal with ECHA’s Board of Appeal on ECHA decisions listed in Article 91 of REACH and Article 77 of BPR.

My United Kingdom-based company provides chemicals to customers in the EU/EEA. What are the effects of the United Kingdom withdrawal from the EU other than those relating to the BPR, CLP, PIC and REACH Regulations?

The Q&As on this website solely provide advice on the impact of the United Kingdom withdrawal in relation to the chemicals legislation that ECHA manages. You need to find information on its other effects on supply chains across the external frontier of the EU (e.g., customs, tariffs and quotas, rules of origin, standardisation, rules on transport from outside the EU, etc.) from other sources, such as the European Commission or your industry association.

Such information is available, for instance, in the readiness notices published on the webpages of the European Commission.