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Brexit easement deadlines – cosmetics and REACH

18 May 2021
The end of Transition introduced a trading border between the EU and Great Britain, changed companies' legal obligations overnight and started the clock on easement deadlines. We highlight two areas where we are already seeing business being caught out by the impact of deadlines.

The end of the Transition Period at 11pm on 31 December 2020 introduced a trading border between the EU and Great Britain. This means that, without any change to the supply chain from a practical perspective, many companies are now responsible for placing products on the GB market and as a result have found their legal obligations 'upgraded' from distributor to importer. One of the consequences of this is that in certain areas such cosmetics and chemicals must be notified before being placed on the market and we know that a number of businesses have been caught out by the impact of these deadlines.

For cosmetics, if you import the product you are now the UK Responsible Person by default unless a third party is appointed by written mandate. The consequence of this is that it is mandatory to notify new products for the GB market via the new system (the "submit cosmetic product notifications service" "SCPN") before placing the cosmetic product on the market. Those products that were already on the EU market and had been notified via the EU system ("CPNP") by 31 December 2020, had a 90 days from the end of Transition to notify those products to the SCPN using zip files of the CPNP documents, rather than going through the full process. There are many who had not realised that this deadline had expired on 31 March 2021. 

If you are now the importer of chemicals (not just in their raw form, but in detergents, cosmetics or other household goods), then depending on the volume, you may now be responsible for registering chemicals under REACH as retained in the UK (UK REACH) and will need to be aware of the notification deadlines to HSE. EU REACH registrations from before 1 January 2021 will be recognised under UK REACH provided the GB company which held the EU REACH registration provided basic information was provided to the HSE within 120 days of the end of the Transition Period (so by 30 April 2021) to complete a 'grandfathering' process. For companies that did not previously hold EU Registrations there are notification procedures which must be followed within 300 days of the end of Transition. 

Many businesses had not realised that these deadlines have now passed, but there might still be something that you can do to avoid the longer notification processes. 

If you are unsure about your responsibilities following the end of transition or are concerned about having missed a deadline please get in touch and see how we can assist.

Further Reading