The UK government is planning to give businesses two extra years to implement new post-Brexit safety standards around chemicals.
This follows the government’s recent post-Brexit postponement of certain sanitary and phytosanitary import controls and the delay to the requirement for manufacturers to adopt the UKCA mark.
Companies were originally given until 28 October 2021 to register chemical substances with the UK’s new REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) database, which follows the EU’s equivalent system.
The government then extended this to 27 October 2023 following criticism that the duplication of efforts to register safety data with two systems would involve additional and repetitive testing.
In a letter to the Chemical Industries Association (CIA), seen by the FT, environment secretary George Eustice has said that the date will now be 27 October 2025.
He also said officials would investigate “a new model” for UK REACH registrations in order to “reduce the need for replicating EU Reach data packages”.
‘Alternative way forward’
CIA chief executive Steve Elliott told the FT that the industry was glad that government had acknowledge the “huge cost implications” of introducing the new UK Reach database.
He also said he was glad that “an alternative way forward is now being considered”.
The government has been under continued pressure to ensure post-Brexit standards meet or go further than EU rules in the industry.
The Express reports Breast Cancer chief executive Thalie Martini saying in the spring: "Reduced requirements for the provision of safety data on chemicals weakens the Health and Safety Executive's ability to protect public health and risks harmful chemicals entering the UK market."