Defra Will Propose Legislation to Extend UK REACH Deadlines for Three Years
As reported in our July 18, 2022, memorandum, in July 2022, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) began a public consultation on extending the UK Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) submission deadlines for transitional registrations — the registrations under UK REACH of substances that were registered in the European Union (EU) in accordance with EU REACH on or before December 31, 2020, the end of the Brexit transition period. Defra requested comment on two options to extend the current deadlines for registration, as well as a do-nothing option. On November 29, 2022, Defra announced that it will bring forward secondary legislation, subject to the consent of the Scottish and Welsh governments, to extend the UK REACH submission deadlines across all tonnage bands by three years. Defra also requested comment on extending the dates for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to carry out compliance checks on at least 20 percent of the registration dossiers. The United Kingdom (UK) government intends to introduce legislation, subject to the consent of the Scottish and Welsh governments, to extend the statutory dates for compliance checks so that they do not precede the data submission dates.
The current deadlines for completing the transitional registration process, depending on tonnage and hazard profile of the substance, are:
- October 2023 for substances included on the EU REACH candidate list before UK REACH came into effect; substances that are carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction (CMR) and manufactured or imported in quantities of one metric ton (MT) or more a year; substances that are very toxic to aquatic life and manufactured or imported in quantities of 100 MT or more a year; and all substances manufactured or imported in quantities of 1,000 MT or more a year.
- October 2025 for substances added to the UK REACH candidate list before the above submission deadline; and all substances manufactured or imported in quantities of 100 MT or more a year.
- October 2027 for all substances manufactured or imported in quantities of one MT or more a year.
Defra requested public comment on the following policy options:
- Baseline — Do Nothing: Do not change the current submission deadlines (October 27, 2023; October 27, 2025; and October 27, 2027);
- Option 1: Extend all the current submission deadlines for each tonnage band by three years to October 2026, October 2028, and October 2030; and
- Option 2 (Government-Preferred Option): Extend the first submission deadline by three years to October 2026, the second by two years to October 2027, and the third by one year to October 2028.
Although Defra preferred Option 2, it states in the summary of responses and government response that “[o]n balance, we acknowledge that the extra time Option 1 provides could lessen burdens on SMEs and downstream users without significantly reducing levels of protection of human health and of the environment. Therefore, subject to the consent of the Scottish and Welsh governments, the UK government intends to introduce legislation that would give effect to extending the submission deadlines across all tonnage bands by 3 years.”