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Parliamentary questions
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29 August 2019
Question for written answer E-002584-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Rory Palmer (S&D)

 Subject:  Brexit and REACH Regulations
 Answer in writing 

Many EU companies currently buying chemicals from the UK are classified under REACH as downstream users, not as importers. When the UK leaves the EU, these companies will become importers, and will have to comply with new obligations and registration costs, which will especially affect small distributors.

The UK has introduced a statutory instrument replicating REACH, providing for a transitional period to adapt to the new obligations. However, EU companies buying from the UK won’t benefit from such a transition. The ECHA’s analysis recommended this approach, and focused on substances that are currently only REACH registered in the UK. Unfortunately, it ignores other scenarios, including when mixtures are UK manufactured, but used in the EU, or when mixtures are manufactured outside the EU, but imported via the UK.

Without a transitional arrangement, the EU companies affected might stop importing because they are not registered or because of the cost of registration; or try to continue importing under the existing rules due to ignorance. This would have a substantial impact on EU and other worldwide companies due to repercussions on the supply chain.

Is the Commission aware of these potential ramifications? What discussions have taken place with industry representatives and trade unions?

Will the EU introduce a transitional arrangement, such as that applied to Croatia on their accession to the EU?

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