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Be ready for a no-deal Brexit, Echa tells chemicals industry

With approximately six weeks to go until the UK is due to leave the EU, Echa has told companies in the chemicals supply chain to make sure they are prepared for a no-deal Brexit.

As of 1 November, the UK may be a third country and not part of the trade bloc’s regulatory regimes.

Registrations made by UK manufacturers, importers and only representatives (ORs) will become void if they are not transferred to EU-27/European Economic Area (EEA) before the country withdraws from the EU.

Earlier this month Cefic and the UK’s Chemical Industries Association (CIA) warned that, in the event of a no-deal, more than 700 substances may not be available on the EU market if British companies have not transferred their REACH registrations to entities in the trade bloc.

Echa’s webpages provide comprehensive instructions on how to make the switch.

The agency has also urged downstream users in the EU27/EEA to act immediately to prevent supply chain disruption.

Downstream users in the EU27/EEA can check the ‘List of substances registered only by UK companies’ on Echa’s website to see if they need to take action.

If they plan to get their supply from the UK after the withdrawal, they should register the substance themselves as an importer, unless an OR has been appointed for that registration in the EU-27/EEA, the agency says.

Meanwhile, Echa has reactivated the manual form to notify exports of prior informed consent (Pic) Regulation substances. This form is part of a “temporary procedure” that ensures that EU27 companies planning to export PIC chemicals to the UK as of 1 November can comply with obligations to notify their exports 35 days before the expected date of import.

Echa has sent a letter to UK-based registrants and one to it accredited stakeholders on the subject.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has suspended the UK’s parliament until 14 October. When they return if MPs do not approve a Brexit deal, or vote in favour of a no-deal, by the 31 October deadline, Mr Johnson is obliged to request an extension from the EU until 31 January 2020. All EU member states must agree any extension offer.
Mr Johnson is expected  to bring another vote on an early general election to the House of Commons, but opposition MPs are unlikely to accept it until the law aimed at blocking a no-deal Brexit is implemented.