At H2 Compliance we ended 2021 with a flurry of activity, with both new and existing clients looking to secure some last-minute business continuity in the UK. We helped over 40 Only Representative (OR) clients and a number of UK-based importers analyse their portfolios, work out which substances could benefit from the DUIN provisions, and successfully submit their notifications so that they can continue importing into the UK without needing a full registration (for the time being).

All of the early UK REACH transitional deadlines have now passed. Grandfathering is complete; DUIN submission is complete. From now on, grandfathered registrants need to provide the full REACH data to HSE by the relevant deadline, and formally DUIN notifiers need to submit or be covered by a full registration by those same deadlines (see below). Until those deadlines, manufacture and import can continue unhindered.

That said, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), having adopted the role of chemicals agency in the UK, have updated their website to indicate late DUIN submissions will still be accepted. So, if you supply any chemical products from the EU to the UK, or via an EU-based Only Representative, you still may be able to take advantage of this transitional provision. This means you may also be able to benefit from the deadlines below. There is no stated time limit on this extension, so we do not know for how long this “late DUIN” provision will be available. If you supply chemicals to the UK and have not taken advantage of the DUIN provisions, get in touch to see if they are still available to you.

       Source: HSE website

Unfortunately, not all substances are eligible for DUIN coverage. For example, anything imported into Great Britain (GB) from outside the EU where an EU-based OR was not appointed. And at some point, the unofficial extension to the DUIN deadline may end – what comes next if you are in this situation?

New registration remains the only option to cover manufacture and import into GB. Although now it comes in two flavours: brand new registrations of novel substances (never registered in the EU before), and new registrations of existing substances (“NRES”).

If you want to supply or import substances into GB that were already registered in the EU, then the costs of registration are likely to be lower in the short-to-medium term. HSE expect an inquiry dossier to be submitted (including analytical data), and they will also charge a registration fee for the respective tonnage band. However, they may inform you during the inquiry process that you can submit your registration dossier – including member registration dossier – without having access to the data. HSE request that you include an appropriate data waiver in your dossier and commit to either submitting data, or having access to the relevant data, by the same deadlines above. As such, for low-volume, low-hazard substances, where you already have a registration dossier, it may be that you can have a registration until October 2027 for under €1500.

This is a relatively low-cost way of securing your supply chains for substances or customers that were not eligible for DUINs, and is the closest one can get to “pre-registration” in the UK. Get in touch with us to see what options are available to you post-DUIN.

*You may have noted the big red asterisk on the table above. The UK government has been listening very closely to industry concerns regarding the cost to business of duplicating registration dossiers in the UK. Defra have recently announced that they are committed investigating alternatives, including alternative data requirements. These may include less reliance on the data already generated and available on the ECHA website, and a greater focus on use and exposure information specific to the UK.

The details are yet to be agreed with Defra initiating a consultation this year. With the goalposts potentially moving, Defra have also proposed to delay the first UK REACH deadline above – October 27th 2023, until October 27th 2025. It is important to note that at the time of writing, this is a proposal and not yet in law. In any case, it is good to see the UK government taking industry concerns seriously, balancing them with the clear priorities of chemicals legislation: the continued protection of human health and the environment. We will continue to watch and report on how this situation develops.

In the meantime, if you think you or your customers may have registration obligations in the UK, please get in touch. We will be able to help you identify the best registration strategy going forwards, taking into account these new developments.