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REACH deadlines

UK REACH deadlines to be extended

Following consultation with stakeholders over the summer, the UK Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has decided to extend the deadline for registering substances with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under UK REACH, the legislation that replaces EU REACH, by three years. This is subject to consultation with devolved governments in Scotland and Wales. As a result, the new deadlines will be:

* 27 October 2026 for substances included on the EU REACH candidate list before UK REACH came into effect; carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction and manufactured or imported in quantities of 1 tonne/year or more; very toxic to aquatic life and manufactured or imported in quantities of 100 tonnes/year or more; and all substances manufactured or imported in quantities of 1,000 tonnes/year or more

* 27 October 2028 for substances added to the UK REACH candidate list before the 2023 submission deadline, or which are manufactured or imported in quantities of 100 tonnes/year or more

* 27 October 2030 for all substances manufactured or imported in quantities of 1 tonne/year or more

Defra stated that an extension was needed “to ensure there is sufficient time for substantive development of the policy, and to make operational and legislative changes to implement the new model” and also to give industry time to prepare for compliance while avoiding extra cost. Views were also sought on a proposal to make related amendments to the dates for compliance checks under Article 41(5) to ensure they were in lockstep with the proposed data submission deadlines. This would have been impossible under the previous deadlines.

In all, 289 responses were received. Of these, 123 were from large businesses (250+ employees), 47 from medium-sized businesses (50-249), 58 from small or micro businesses, 20 from consultants, 28 from an industry association, eight were from importers of substances and mixtures, and five from NGOs. Option 1, a three-year extension was decisively preferred over Option 2, the government’s preferred option of extending the deadlines by three years, two years and one year respectively, and Option 3, making no changes.

In all, 82% of those responding chose Option 1, most commonly saying “that it would provide more time to prepare registration documents and that the longer timeframe would reduce burdens and maximise the opportunity for businesses to submit high quality dossiers”. “

While we would like to see the data submitted in the shorter deadline provided under Option 2, we believe that the extra time under Option 1 could lessen potential burdens on businesses - especially SMEs and downstream users - without significantly impacting on human health and environmental protections,” Defra said. “We also recognise the potential for better quality data and maximising chances of compliance under Option 1.”

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