Thursday, 01 Jul 2021 14:49 GMT

Brexit impact on chemical regulations being felt

The British Coatings Federation (BCF) has revealed concerns amongst UK coatings manufacturers about the effects of new UK chemical regulations.

The BCF conducted a survey in which almost 80% of respondents said they believe the UK REACH legislation will negatively impact their business.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, the EU REACH regulation has been brought into UK law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

The UK REACH and the EU REACH regulations operate independently from each other. This means that businesses that supply and purchase substances, mixtures or articles to and from the EU, EEA, Northern Ireland and Great Britain need to meet the conditions of both legislations.

The survey by BCF also found that many businesses are worried about a drop in the availability of chemical substances in the UK compared to the EU. What’s more, 67% of respondents fear rising costs due to the additional requirements of suppliers complying with REACH UK.

Our latest survey results show that the added complexity of the new UK chemicals regulations is starting to bite.

Tom Bowtell, chief executive officer of the BCF says: “Our latest survey results show that the added complexity of the new UK chemicals regulations is starting to bite.”

According to Bowtell, the BCF has consistently called for UK REACH legislation to be amended to avoid additional costs and drops in availability of raw materials to UK manufacturers.

He adds: “Failure to amend UK REACH will lead to our coatings members – and other businesses in similar sectors – seeing unsustainable added complexities and extra costs.

“Exports of chemical-based products from the UK will be severely threatened by UK REACH, as will foreign direct investment into UK factories, as many companies choose to reduce their manufacturing footprint in the UK and relocate to the EU. Overall, the UK will become a less competitive country to do business in.”

Bowtell says that DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) has been engaging with the industry over the last few months, and there are hopes that UK REACH can be amended.

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