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Chemicals: Regulation

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 158948, tabled on 22 April 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of running and managing the UK REACH system.

Answered on

28 April 2022

We want to minimise disruption for business and ensure a smooth transition to UK REACH. We have put in place provisions to minimise the costs for businesses and maintain market access to both the EU and GB markets

We recognise that transition to the UK REACH regime has presented some challenges for the chemicals industry, particularly around the cost of having to access and purchase data to support their registration.

We previously extended the transitional registration deadlines (from two years to a phased two, four, & six-year approach) to allow industry more time to adapt and comply with UK REACH and to spread costs over a longer period. We have now gone further and committed to exploring alternative arrangements for UK REACH transitional registrations that would reduce the need for companies to access EU REACH data packages whilst maintaining high standards to safeguard public health and the environment. Although it is too early to commit to this model, we wish to further explore its potential. We will engage fully with industry, NGOs and other interested stakeholders as part of this process. We have also committed to consult on further extending the transitional registration deadlines.

The cost to Government in running UK REACH includes the cost of further digital development and management of the Comply with UK REACH digital service and the cost of regulatory capacity in the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Environment Agency (EA). In 2022/23 this will cost around £13 million. There will also be additional costs of Defra staff working on REACH.

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