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June 28, 2024

Defra Consults on Proposal to Amend UK REACH Use and Exposure Information Requirements

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

On May 16, 2024, the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) began a public consultation on the UK government’s proposals to amend the current transitional provisions under UK REACH for submitting registration information to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Defra, following an in-depth analysis of the current UK REACH requirements and working with the HSE and the Environment Agency (EA), has devised an Alternative Transitional Registration model (ATRm) for UK REACH. Defra states that the aim of this model “is to uphold existing human health and environmental protections (by gaining better information on the use and exposure of substances in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales)), while reducing costs to businesses transitioning from EU REACH to UK REACH.” Defra recently extended the comment period and responses are due July 25, 2024. The consultation includes several parts:

  • Part One: Standard consultation questions;
  • Part Two: The details and consultation questions on the ATRm;
  • Part Three: As part of Defra’s ongoing project to improve UK REACH, it is also consulting on proposals for changes to the restriction and reporting process, as well as proposals to introduce further protections against unnecessary animal testing;
  • Part Four: Seeks stakeholders’ views on impacts to trade;
  • Part Five: Provides further detail on the UK REACH Article 1 consistency statement; and
  • Part Six: Provides a list of all the consultation questions covered in the document. 

According to Defra, the consultation will provide it with the opportunity to consider stakeholder views before introducing legislative changes necessary to bring the proposed changes into effect. This will be followed by a second consultation that Defra plans to support with a Statutory Instrument and a final impact assessment. Defra notes that as required under the Environment Act 2021, it will publish, before or alongside the second consultation, an explanation of why the Secretary of State considers that the provision to be made by the regulations is consistent with Article 1 of UK REACH.