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UK REACH: Government to consult on a new transitional registration model and extensions to existing deadlines

  • United Kingdom
  • Environment
  • ESG


In a letter to the Chemicals Industries Association, the Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs confirmed that the government is committed to exploring alternative arrangements for UK REACH transitional registrations following concern from industry regarding the data access costs required to support UK REACH registrations (which applies to legal entities in Great Britain (“GB”), EU REACH continues to apply in Northern Ireland).

The letter sets out the government’s intentions to:

  1. engage with stakeholders to explore a new UK REACH “transitional registration model” which would reduce the need for replicating EU REACH data packages by placing “greater emphasis on improving our understanding of the uses and exposures of chemicals in a GB context”; and
  2. consult on extending the current deadlines for providing full registration data under UK REACH in order to provide time for the government to explore its transitional registration model. Subject to this consultation, the letter explains the government is currently minded to extend the 27 October 2023 deadline for providing full registration data to the 27 October 2025. The government will also consult on what, if any, other deadline extensions would be appropriate to allow time to fully explore and develop an alternative registration model.

Certain UK REACH deadlines have already passed:

  • GB based manufacturers, importers and Only Representatives were required to provide basic registration data to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) by the 30 April 2021 to support the grandfathering of their existing EU REACH registrations into UK REACH. Relevant entities are required to provide the full data package by 27 October 2023, 27 October 2025 or 27 October 2027 (depending on the tonnage band/hazard profile of the substance);
  • GB entities that were downstream users and distributors under EU REACH were required to submit a downstream user import notification (DUIN) by 27 October 2021 to the HSE. (Note that the HSE is however still accepting DUINs even though this deadline has passed). The DUIN process delays the deadline for when a full UK REACH registration (including full data package) is required to 27 October 2023, 27 October 2025 or 27 October 2027 (depending on the tonnage band/hazard profile of the substance); and
  • GB entities that did not have an EU REACH registration to grandfather and/or did not qualify for a DUIN are required to submit a full UK REACH registration. However, we understand that where there is already an EU REACH registration for that substance the HSE accepts that whilst a UK REACH registration dossier has to be submitted it will accept a waiver statement meaning that the full data requirements can be deferred until the same deadlines as under the “grandfathering” and DUIN processes (i.e. to 27 October 2023, 27 October 2025 or 27 October 2027 (depending on the tonnage band/hazard profile of the substance).    

No details have been provided at this stage regarding the government’s proposed new transitional registration model, however, the letter states that the government will engage with industry and interested stakeholders in the “next few months” to develop its model in more detail. The consultation will take place in 2022.

It is not clear whether the deadline extensions will apply to all GB entities affected by UK REACH or whether it is only those that have “grandfathered” registrations or submitted DUINs that will benefit. If the deadline extensions are limited to only those that have “grandfathered” registrations or submitted DUINs, this could effectively mean that there is a two-tier system with new manufacturers/importers being disadvantaged, as they will be required to submit a full registration dossier to obtain their UK REACH registration unless the HSE continues to accept data waivers.  

Businesses affected by UK REACH registration requirements should now follow and consider the recent government announcement as part of their registration strategy and specifically, their approach to obtaining data access for UK REACH purposes.  

For further information, or to discuss UK REACH more generally, please contact: