UK Transition // Industry sector advice

Chemicals

Check and change – 6 steps chemical companies can take to be ready to go after the transition period

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period will end on 31 December 2020. From January 2021, there will be important changes for businesses.

Here are six things chemical companies can check and change now to be ready to go. For more actions your business may need to take before January 2021 visit www.gov.uk/transition and use the checker tool.

Speak with your lawyer and accountant or visit www.gov.uk/transition for tailored business information and to sign up for email updates. 

  1. Use the ‘Check How to Export Goods’ tool on gov.uk to look up information on overseas tariffs, rules and border formalities for trading your goods worldwide.

    Use the ‘Check How to Export Goods’ service on GOV.UK to check duties and customs procedures for exporting your goods worldwide. Failure to complete the proper documentation or follow the correct procedures may result in delays getting goods through customs as well as unexpected taxes on goods upon entry to the destination and country. From January 2021, there will be new requirements for how you export goods from the UK. Use the service at: https://www.gov.uk/check-duties-customs-exporting.

  2. Comply with UK REACH to trade chemicals in the UK

    If you want to place new chemicals on both the EU/EEA (including Switzerland) and UK markets from 1 January 2021, you must follow both EU REACH and UK REACH rules. You must register new chemicals you want to sell on the UK market from 1 January 2021 with the Health and Safety Executive. HSE will publish detailed guidance in October. More information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-comply-with-reach-chemical-regulations#prepare-for-1-january-2021.

  3. Use the new UK Global Tariff schedule to check what tariff will be payable on goods entering the UK from 1 January 2021.

    If you import goods into the UK, you should check the new UK Global Tariff schedule. From 1 January 2021, the UK Global Tariff schedule will apply to all goods imported into the UK unless an exception applies. Exceptions include goods you import from a country that has a trade agreement with the UK or from a developing country that pays less or no duty because it’s part of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences. You can check the tariffs that will apply to goods you import at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-tariffs-from-1-january-2021.

  4. Use GOV.UK guidance to understand changes to trading with non-EU countries from 1 January 2021. Check if the UK has negotiated a trade agreement with the country you will be trading with

    Trading with countries outside the EU may change from January 2021. Find out about trade continuity agreements the UK has signed and agreements that are still under discussion at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-trade-agreements-with-non-eu-countries.

  5. Regulatory systems - Apply for licences to trade drug precursor chemicals with the EU from 1 January 2021.

    If you trade drug precursor chemicals from 1 January 2021 you may need import or export licences to trade drug precursor chemicals with the EU. You need a domestic licence or registration before you can apply for import or export licences, this depends on the chemical you are trading. Applications usually take 12 to 16 weeks to process. More information is available here:

  6. Use GOV.UK to identify how your business can be ready to sell certain goods in the UK and EU

    From the 1 January 2021 the essential requirements and standards that can be used to demonstrate compliance will be the same as they are now. However, there may be other changes you need to make.​ These are:

    • Check which regulations apply to your product​ – to determine what steps you or others in your supply chain need to take, identify what EU regulations are relevant to you.

    • Check if you need a new product approval and begin the process as soon as possible – if your product requires third-party approval, you may need a new approval especially if you sell in both UK and EU. Subject to negotiations, from 1 January 2021 the EU will stop recognising UK approvals.

    • Check if you need to appoint a new authorised representative to act on your behalf​ – UK-based individuals and legal entities will no longer count as established in the EU, and vice-versa. You may need to appoint someone to undertake certain tasks in the EU or UK.

    • Speak to your supply chains / distributors and understand new legal duties​ – make sure your suppliers/distributors/customers understand the actions they need to take. If you distribute EU goods, or have your goods distributed by someone in the EU, you may acquire new legal duties.

    • Consider what marking / labelling changes apply to your product – you may need to make changes to the information or regulatory markings that appear on your product, for example to reflect changes to product approvals or new representatives you appoint in the EU.

    • More information is available at: www.gov.uk/transition.

Speak with your lawyer and accountant or visit www.gov.uk/transition for tailored business information and to sign up for email updates. 

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