What this means

If your company is based in England, Scotland or Wales, EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) no longer applies now that the UK has left the EU.

The UK Government has implemented its own version known as “UK REACH”. This came into force on 1st January 2021. Northern Ireland is still covered by EU REACH according to the IE/NI Protocol (the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland).

Companies that are supplying and purchasing substances, mixtures or articles to and from the EU/EEA/Northern Ireland and Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) will need to ensure that the relevant duties are met under both pieces of legislation (Health & Safety Executive).

Registration with UK REACH after Brexit is very similar to registration with EU REACH and UK REACH regulations have to be followed whether you manufacture, import, sell or distribute chemical substances or mixtures. So, for example, if you are a UK-based storage facility handling chemicals that go to or come from EU countries, the products themselves may have to comply with both the UK and EU REACH regulations. It is the responsibility of the individual company to assess its operations and decide whether compliance with both of these regulations is a requirement.

The UK REACH regime replicates the EU system as closely as possible, maintaining the fundamental aims and purposes of REACH including high standards of health and environmental protection.

The aims of UK REACH include: 

  • To provide a high level of protection of human health and the environment from the use of chemicals.

  • To make the people who place chemicals on the market (manufacturers and importers) responsible for understanding and managing the risks associated with their use.

  • To promote the use of alternative methods for the assessment of the hazardous properties of substances e.g. quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) and read across (Health & Safety Executive).

For more information, please visit:

Health & Safety Executive, n.d., What is UK REACH?, Health & Safety Executive, viewed 19th February 2021, <>

If you have any questions or comments then please feel free to contact: