A Hypothetical Situation – Does this look like you?

So – Your Company was identified as a Downstream User before the UK exited the EU as you bought Chemical Products from an EU supplier.

Now the UK has left the EU, and your company continues to source chemicals from an EU distributer, are you still a Downstream User?

Well – Maybe No!

Now we have left the EU, your company may now be an importer and you may need to register.

Many UK based downstream users are currently relying on the 21,000 plus substances registered under REACH by their upstream supply chain.

With the UK leaving the scope of EU REACH, downstream users may become importers under the regulations overnight and consequently would need to complete their own registration or rely on their third country suppliers to appoint an Only Representative (OR)

EU held registrations: GB downstream users

GB downstream users (who do not hold an EU REACH registration) currently importing chemicals from an EU or EEA country need to ensure the substances they purchase are covered by a valid UK REACH registration.

Businesses that relied on a registration held by an EU or EEA-based company before 1 January 2021 can continue importing substances as they did before. However, they will need to make sure that the chemical is registered for UK REACH purposes. Find out how GB downstream users can notify the HSE using a Downstream User Import Notification (DUIN) of their intention to continue importing substances from the EU or EEA by 27 October 2021.


Previously, GB companies could take advantage of the EU REACH registrations, but now any company manufacturing or importing a substance, either on its own or in a mixture, above 1 tonne per annum, and placing on the GB market, must hold a UK REACH registration.

For EU REACH registrations that were held by GB companies on December 31, 2020, these will have been transferred over into UK law, and the companies that hold them have 120 days to undertake the grandfathering notification. Once this notification has been completed, they have 2, 4 or 6 years + 300 days from January 1, 2021 to provide the remaining data to complete the registration process. The 2, 4, and 6 year deadlines are dependent on the volume placed on the GB market and hazardous nature of the substance in question.

For companies that were originally a downstream user of a substance registered under EU REACH, may now have changed roles, and may have become the GB importer. If this is the case, those companies will be required to take on the role of registration holder in GB, unless their supplier uses a GB only representative to undertake the UK REACH registration requirements on their behalf.

For a company that was a downstream user to become a UK REACH registration holder, they will need to undertake a DUIN (Downstream user information notification) within 300 days of the January 1, 2021. Once this has been completed, they will have the same 2, 4 and 6 year deadlines to complete the registrations.

Currently there have been no data sharing regulations put into place that will allow UK companies the right to access REACH registration data held by EU companies, despite serious concerns over this issue from industry.

Authorisations that are currently held by GB companies can also be grandfathered into UK law via a notification that needs to be completed within 60 days of January 1, 2021. All other existing authorisations were copied into UK law and onto the UK authorisation list and can continue to be used by downstream users until the existing last application dates and sunset dates pass. In a similar manner, all current REACH restrictions in place on December 31, 2020 have been implemented into UK law, but they will be managed independently from the EU list moving forwards.

With regards to the GB safety data sheet, the format implemented is that outlined in the EU 2015/830 REACH Annex II regulation, and not the recently updated EU 2020/878 regulation; there is a requirement for a GB entity to be listed as the supplier on the document. So far, no further information has been published regarding any specifics for the UK SDS.

So – What else can you do?

Source chemicals (if you can) from a UK Distributer who should have met all the EU Exit criteria.

Easy – Isn’t it?

If you have any concerns or questions around this, please call our team of experts on 01242 323864.