September 4, 2020 by Olivia Tran


Defra published new guidance on UK REACH on 1 September1. The new framework will be administered by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and will come into effect on 1 January 2021, regardless of the outcome of the UK-EU trade negotiations. However, data sharing and access to the ECHA Dissemination Portal are still under negotiation, which will have a major impact on the overall cost of compliance for UK REACH. Below is a summary of the main provisions and deadlines to comply with UK REACH:

UK-based registrants

UK-based holders of existing EU REACH registrations must register with the HSE to “grandfather” their substances to UK REACH by 30 April 2021. Registrants must then complete all data submission requirements within the following timeframes:

  • 2 years from 28 October 2021:
    • Carcinogenic, mutagenic or reprotoxic (CMR) substances manufactured/imported at ≥1 tonnes per annum (tpa)
    • Very toxic to aquatic organisms (acute H400 or chronic H410) manufactured/imported at ≥100 tpa
    • Substances on the EU Candidate List of Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) as of 31 December 2020
    • All other substances manufactured/imported at ≥1000 tpa
  • 4 years from 28 October 2021:
    • Substances on the EU SVHC Candidate List as of 27 October 2023
    • All other substances manufactured/imported at ≥100 tpa
  • 6 years from 28 October 2021:
    • All other substances ≥1 tpa

Defra will publish any changes to the information requirements in September 2020.

UK-based downstream users


UK-based downstream users (who do not hold an EU REACH registration) must submit a Downstream User Import Notification (DUIN) to the HSE by 27 October 2021 if they intend to continue importing substances from the EU/EEA. UK downstream users will then need submit new registrations under UK REACH to import chemicals from the EU under the same deadline schedule as for grandfathered substances. Alternatively, UK downstream users can switch to a UK supplier or encourage their EU/EEA supplier to appoint a UK Only Representative.


Existing authorisations and their deadlines under EU REACH will be recognised under UK REACH. New authorisation applications and those that are pending approval under EU REACH from 1 January 2021 will need to be submitted for evaluation under UK REACH.


The online service ‘Comply with UK REACH’ will go live on 1 January 2021. Registrants can use this portal to grandfather substances registered under EU REACH and submit DUINs, new substance registrations and new PPORD notifications. Businesses will need to contact the HSE to grandfather PPORD notifications and for any matters regarding authorisations.

Northern Ireland


Under the Northern Ireland Protocol, businesses based in Northern Ireland will continue to have access to the EU market after 1 January 2021 if they hold an EU REACH registration. Further guidance will be published for these businesses on their obligations under UK REACH to access the UK market.

The EU also published a notice2 in March 2020 informing stakeholders of their obligations under REACH to maintain access to the EU and EEA market at the end of the transition period.

Our UK REACH webpages are updated as new information is released. If you have specific questions on your particular obligations under UK REACH or EU REACH, please contact us.


1Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra). 1 September 2020. Guidance: How to comply with REACH chemical regulations. Accessed 3 September 2020.

2European Commission. 30 March 2020. Notice to Stakeholders: Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of chemicals regulation under REACH. Accessed 3 September 2020.