Chemicals: Regulation

(asked on 23rd April 2020) - View Source

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made in their consultation with UK businesses about the future regulation of chemicals in the UK once the participation with EU REACH ends; how many businesses they have consulted; which sectors those businesses are part of; and when they intend to publish the results of that consultation.

This question was answered on 6th May 2020

UK regulators are well prepared to take on new responsibilities under UK REACH. We have already provided extra resources to both the Health and Safety Executive (HSE and the Environment Agency (EA) to prepare for UK REACH and we will continue to scale up their resources over the next two years. We have previously estimated the cost of operating UK REACH at £13 million a year at full operation. That figure includes the operation and maintenance of the Comply with UK REACH IT system and staff resourcing in Defra, HSE and the EA. We are keeping this estimate of resource requirements under regular review as planning for the end of the Transition Period continues.

We have put in place measures to enable industry to comply with UK REACH through a phased transitional period. Defra's estimates of the costs to industry broadly align with those identified by industry, and we continue to explore a range of further steps to minimise the burdens on businesses.

As part of that process we have been undertaking a focused evidence-gathering exercise to better understand costs and practical options to reduce burdens on industry. This involves a number of key stakeholders including businesses of different sizes across the supply chain, trade associations and NGOs. We are now considering how to respond to the conclusions of this work.

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