UK REACH alternative transitional registration model ( ATRm) – Latest News
UK REACH alternative transitional registration model (ATRm)
The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), alongside the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Environment Agency, have been exploring options for an alternative transitional registration model (ATRm), following the concerns raised by the chemical industry about the significant cost to businesses of accessing EU data packages to support UK REACH transitional registrations.
In a statement released yesterday, the ATRm will aim to reduce the costs to businesses while continuing to ensure the overarching commitment to high levels of protection of human health and the environment.
Defra’s new approach consists of reducing to the essential minimum the ‘hazard’ information required for transitional registrations and intermediates. This will mean that UK REACH registrants will not generally need to access and pay for data packages held by EU industry consortia.
Defra identified, that under EU REACH, the UK could only access data on the uses and exposure routes of over 22,000 chemicals in the Union. Now, the government’s ambition “is to establish a more comprehensive picture of where and how chemicals are used in Great Britain”.
According to Defra this will also reduce the estimated £2bn costs to industry associated with buying or accessing EU hazard information.
This approach suggests that the UK regulators do not need to hold a complete replica of all the registration data on all chemical substances held under EU REACH for UK REACH to undertake its regulatory work within GB.
As a result, this will enable adoption of a more targeted approach by using information already available and building on work done in the EU, and globally, to identify areas of emerging risk and shape our regulatory priorities.
Furthermore, this will allow the UK regulators to develop the detailed information they hold on chemical substances in a more targeted way.
Future work will also focus on publication of the risk management options analysis for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) to illustrate how this approach can work in practice.
Progress so far:
- Refining what information on ‘use and exposure’ registrants will need to provide;
- Improving regulator powers so that they can require and receive data from registrants quickly for regulatory or risk prioritisation purposes
- Reviewing the existing fee structure for UK REACH to ensure a more sustainable funding model, including possibly lowering fees; and
- Revising the UK REACH restriction processes to allow flexibility to act as quickly as possible where risks have been identified.
Whilst the latest announcement shows the very pragmatic approach from the UK authorities, there is some significant work to be performed over the upcoming months. We look forward to hearing from Government about the fuller details of the policy in early 2024, as we will continue to monitor the situation very closely here at REACHLaw.
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