Introduction and U.K.’s exit from the EU

On leaving the EU, EU-REACH legislation was copied over into UK-REACH as of 01 January 2020. Applying to only England, Wales and Scotland (collectively referred to as Great Britain or GB), Northern Ireland continues to be regulated by EU-REACH.

The UK-REACH transitional arrangements allowed industry to continue to place chemicals on the GB market if the following notifications to the Health Service Executive (HSE)/Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) were made:

  1. Substances registered under EU-REACH by a GB legal entity were grandfathered into UK-REACH to ensure uninterrupted supply
  2. GB-based companies that had imported an EU-REACH-registered substance in the two years prior to the U.K. leaving the EU are permitted to continue importing chemicals after 30 October 2020 if they submit a downstream user import notification (DUIN) to the Health Service Executive (HSE)

Grandfathered registrations: Grandfathered substances were included in a data share group for their substance, which gives the GB-based registrant visibility of other potential registrants, plus access to the nominated lead registrant for UK-REACH.

DUINs: GB importers who have submitted a DUIN can gain access to the same data share group as above after submitting an article 26 inquiry to HSE. This puts importers who were previously able to rely on using EU-REACH-registered substances in the U.K. on a similar level with substances previously registered by GB-based companies allowing them continued access to these substances prior to full registration.

New Registration of an Existing Substances (NRES): A legal entity that is manufacturing/importing a substance that is registered under EU-REACH for the first time may benefit from transitional arrangements allowing them to defer submitting full information in their registrations until the appropriate deadline for their substance based on tonnage and/or hazard profile. This arrangement brings them in line with similar transitional arrangements for downstream users.

The list of potential registrants in a data share group for your substance can be viewed via your UK-REACH account via the Comply with REACH platform. Nomination of the lead registrant should be agreed by all members of the data share group with appropriate agreements among all parties.

DEFRA/HSE model for fulfilling data requirements

Under previous legislation, acquiring access to data depended on the registrant’s situation.

For example,

  1. if they are the data owner,
  2. if they previously purchased data for EU-REACH via a letter of access (LOA)—valid only for EU-REACH and access not automatically transferable to UK-REACH or
  3. are a new registrant, who has not previously been involved in the REACH registration process

After public consultation, DEFRA has revised the registration deadlines to allow industry to prepare their full registration. In addition, DEFRA is planning a new approach model for registrants to comply with the information requirements. The proposed model is expected to place greater reliance on publicly available data and potential exposure to determine safe use of chemicals in the U.K.

The new approach model is expected to be available in 2024.

Full registration

Transitional arrangements allow supply (i.e., manufacture or import into GB) to continue until a full registration is submitted.

The UK-REACH registration deadlines are:

27 October 2026

Tonnage: 1000 tonnes or more per year

Hazardous property: Carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMRs)

  • 1 tonne or more per year. Very toxic to aquatic organisms (acute or chronic)
  • 100 tonnes or more per year

Candidate list substances (as at 31 December 2023)

27 October 2028

Tonnage:100 tonnes or more per year

Hazardous property: Candidate list substances (as at 27 October 2026)

27 October 2030

Tonnage:1 tonne or more per year

Table taken from