Last week, the UK chemicals regulator (the Health & Safety Executive) published the UK REACH work programme for 2023-4 with just a few weeks left to run of the period it covers. It marks over 3 years since the UK left the EU chemicals management system (EU REACH) and established UK REACH as an independent, standalone system for regulating chemicals. While the UK’s … [Read more...] about Review of UK REACH: three years on
Today, CHEM Trust has published a new report by the journalist, researcher and former editorial director of the global news platform Chemical Watch, Geraint Roberts: ‘The Swiss Chemicals System: The legal framework and how it relates to that in the EU’. CHEM Trust commissioned the report in response to growing interest from policymakers, NGOs, and industry stakeholders about … [Read more...] about Is the Swiss system for regulating chemicals a useful model for the UK?
Before the turmoil in British politics of the last couple of months, NGOs had hoped a draft UK Chemicals Strategy would be published for public consultation before the end of the year. A strategy was first promised over four years ago - to set out the UK’s approach, post-Brexit, to ensuring chemicals are safely used and managed. Over the past year stakeholders have been … [Read more...] about What’s the plan for managing harmful chemicals in the UK?
In May, the National Audit Office (NAO) published its review of three UK regulators that have taken on functions previously carried out by the EU, including the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE’s) role in chemicals regulation. It found that a lack of operational capacity and loss of data is having a negative impact on HSE’s ability to assess risks and carry out its … [Read more...] about Does the UK chemicals regulator have the capacity to do its job?
Today the UK’s Health & Safety Executive published the work programme for UK REACH for the coming year (from April 2022 – March 2023), setting out which restrictions on chemicals will be considered by the new UK chemicals regulatory regime in its second year. Restrictions are a way of banning or controlling the use of a chemical that poses a risk to human health or the … [Read more...] about Regulatory gap between UK and EU at risk of becoming a chasm
This week, after a 10-month wait, the UK Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs George Eustice has responded to a deregulatory push from industry to reduce the requirements for safety data on substances registered in UK REACH. The Government has announced it will develop a new data registration model in consultation with stakeholders. To “provide time for … [Read more...] about UK Government proposes further delays in safety data for UK system, raising doubts on its viability
CHEM Trust has long had concerns that the UK system of chemical management (UK REACH) would not have the regulatory capacity to match EU action on chemicals; with just a fraction of its budget and staff and without access to the European Chemical Agency’s (ECHA) chemical safety database. The UK has also shown less willingness to regulate than the EU. These concerns are fast … [Read more...] about Great Britain falling further behind EU protections on chemicals
Earlier this week, the UK Government provided the first concrete example of UK divergence from EU protections for the environment and public health from hazardous chemicals. It announced which restrictions on chemicals will be considered by the new UK chemicals regulatory regime (UK REACH - which covers England, Wales and Scotland) in its first year. Restrictions are a way … [Read more...] about UK REACH restrictions: first signs of UK regulatory divergence on chemicals
At the start of 2021 the UK left the EU's regulatory processes, and a new 'GB REACH' system started to operate to regulate use of chemicals. Following a push from a number of UK industry associates to deregulate this new system, a coalition of health and environmental NGOs, including CHEM Trust, have written to the UK Government calling for it to resist these unwise and unsafe … [Read more...] about Joint NGO letter calls on UK Ministers to resist proposals to deregulate GB REACH
At the start of September, the UK Government announced changes to the framework for its post-Brexit chemicals regulatory system, British REACH, or ‘BREACH’ *, which will deregulate the new system before it has even started to operate. Chemical and other companies have been complaining about the cost and burden of having to re-register their chemicals in BREACH, which they … [Read more...] about Michael Gove claimed it would be ‘better’, but in reality the UK’s BREACH is in crisis