29 March 2019, the date currently fixed in United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) law as when the UK will leave the EU, is now just two weeks away. At this late stage, the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU remain unsettled. The Withdrawal Agreement agreed in draft with the EU at the end of 2018 (see GT Alert Brexit Brinkmanship) has now been twice rejected by the UK Parliament.

A “no-deal” Brexit would mean an abrupt end to the UK’s membership of the EU, with the immediate cessation of UK participation in various EU institutions and regimes, including the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regime.

EU REACH Continues Under the Withdrawal Agreement

Under the Withdrawal Agreement (were it to be eventually ratified), the post-Brexit regulatory framework in the UK would stay broadly the same for a transitional period.

Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK would continue to participate in REACH, and:

  • the process for registering new chemicals under REACH during the transitional period would remain the same;
  • the UK would recognise all new registrations, approvals, authorisations and classifications granted by the EU during the transitional period; and
  • registrations, approvals, authorisations, and classifications in place before the UK leaves the EU would continue to be valid during the transitional period.

This GT Alert discusses the new UK REACH under a “no-deal” Brexit and the obligations of non-UK businesses under UK REACH.

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