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The transition period until 31st December 2020 has now ended.  The UK no longer trades as a member of the EU and is regarded as a third country for the purposes of importing and exporting. 

European legislation, including REACH, no longer applies and registrations by UK companies are no longer valid.  The UK has introduced its replacement, UK REACH, with a new database that became live on 1st January.  If you manufacture, import or use  chemicals, take action now to ensure business continuity and to comply with UK REACH.

Video: UK REACH Quick Tips

Here are some examples of issues to consider if you supply products to, or import them from Europe.

  • UK-based Manufacturer : You can appoint an Only Representative (OR) based in the EU. This could be a subsidiary of your company or a specialist company. This means that your customers/downstream users (DU) in Europe will not have to make their own expensive registrations.   

  • UK-based Importers : Imports from the EU are now treated the same as from the Rest of World. If you are importing registered substances from the EU, however, the situation is easier. You have until 27th October to Notify your imports to UK REACH-IT as a Downstream User Import Notification, or DUIN, and provide basic details (e.g. substance, company, tonnage). A full registration requirement will follow up to six years later.

Video : Downstream User Import Notifications Explained

Video : How to make a Downstream User Import Notification

Video : How to complete the DUIN spreadsheet


  • EU manufacturers and importers : Your registrations are no longer valid for the UK. You can, however, appoint UK based Only Representatives.

  • Non-EU manufacturers with a UK-based Only Representative : In order to supply the EU, you must replace it by an OR based in the EU. You will, however, still require a UK-based Only Representative for your exports into the UK.  The easiest option is to re-appoint the UK Only Representative who will be able to grandfather his registrations into the UK database

  • Companies holding EU Authorizations : Authorisations in the name of UK legal entities also ceased to exist after Brexit unless they were grandfathered into UK-REACH.  If you have unfortunately applied for authorisation but are waiting for a decision, you must submit it again to UK-REACH, that will respect EU decisions.

All UK based chemical manufacturers and users should be auditing supply chains now to identify any chemical purchases that cross EU/UK borders including Northern Ireland. You must understand how you are affected and the measures you should take.


Don't forget that you may have obligations under not only REACH but the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP); Prior Informed Consent (PIC); and Biocidal Products (BPR) regulations.

We also advise companies to refer to the guidance published on the UK Health and Safety Executive website.

If you would like further information or guidance on what you should be doing, please contact us via our Contact page.

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