London – Chemical makers have reacted with concern over proposals for a UK version of the REACH chemical-safety legislation in the event of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
On 24 Sept, the UK government issued guidance on how failure to agree exit terms with the EU would affect companies producing, registering, importing or exporting chemicals.
The proposals include the introduction of a UK-REACH, which said the Chemical Industries Association (CIA), would require companies to duplicate pre-existing EU registration duties.
A UK-REACH “will not only weaken our international competitiveness but more importantly, offers nothing more to strengthen health and safety,” the CIA warned.
Businesses have already spent over £550 million (€618 million) investing in registrations under EU-REACH, according to the London-based industry association.
The process, it added, has involved sharing information and communicating safe-use in exchange for a license to market chemicals in European countries, including the UK.
The CIA went on to urge “that a more efficient and less costly option to both businesses and the regulator is considered over re-registrations whereby all existing REACH registrations are recognised in the UK.”
According to the CIA, the UK chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry supports 500,000 jobs and contributes £18 billion a year to the UK economy from a total annual turnover of £50 billion.