Chemicals Regulations

The UK’s independent chemicals regulatory framework, starts on 1 January 2021.

Under the Northern Ireland Protocol the EU REACH Regulation will continue to apply to Northern Ireland after the end of the transition period, while UK REACH will regulate the access of substances to the GB market.

Anyone making, selling or distributing chemicals in GB, NI and the EU/EEA will need to follow UK REACH rules for access to the GB market and EU REACH rules for access to the NI/EU/EEA market. You should also check what actions apply to your business in relation to other Chemicals regulations, including CLP (Classification, Labelling and Packaging), BPR (Biocidal Product Regulations), PIC (Prior Informed Consent), and controlled chemicals such as explosive and drug precursors.

✓ Check what actions you need to take under UK REACH and EU REACH to continue to manufacture and place chemicals on the GB, NI and EU markets.

If you want to place chemicals on the NI/EU/EEA and GB markets from 1 January 2021, you must follow both EU REACH and UK REACH rules. You must register new chemicals you want to sell on the GB market from 1 January 2021 with the Health and Safety Executive. In the case of new chemicals you want to sell on the NI/EU/EEA market from that date then these must be registered with the European Chemical Agency. More information on the actions you may need to take to comply with UK REACH and EU REACH rules is available HERE 

✓ You may need to take action in relation to other chemicals regimes, if you:

o Classify, label and package chemicals
o Import chemicals which require poison centre notifications
o Trade in Biocides
o Manufacture or trade in plant protection products
o Import or export certain hazardous chemicals (Prior Informed Consent, PIC)
o trade in products which contain explosive precursors or poisons
o trade in Fluorinated gases and ozone-depleting substances
o trade in controlled goods
o trade in drug precursor chemicals
o produce, sell, handle or dispose of persistent organic pollutants

Relevant links:

Health and Safety Executive guidance for chemicals industry 

Classification, Labelling and Packaging relating to Poison Centres

▪ How regulation of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) will change from 1 January 2021

▪ How to comply with fluorinated gas (F gas) and ozone-depleting substances (ODS) regulations from 1 January 2021

▪ How to comply with export licence obligations to export dual-use items from Great Britain to the EU or Channel Islands from January 2021 

▪ How to comply with trade in explosive precursors from 1 January 2021

▪ How to comply with import or export licensing requirements if you trade drug precursor chemicals from 1 January 2021 (applications usually take 12 to 16 weeks to process)

Northern Ireland Protocol

From 1 January 2021, the Northern Ireland Protocol will take effect. Businesses and individuals will be able to move goods from Northern Ireland into the rest of the United Kingdom on the same basis as now. However, the application of the Protocol will involve some changes for goods movements into Northern Ireland.

✓ Follow NI specific rules for trading between GB and Northern Ireland.

There will be some changes for goods movements into Northern Ireland from Great Britain. The new Trader Support Service is available to support businesses with these movements.

The free Trader Support Service:

▪ will help if you move goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or bring goods into Northern Ireland from outside the UK
▪ will be free to use and guide you through any changes to the way goods move between Great Britain and Northern Ireland
▪ can complete declarations on your behalf

Processes for Northern Ireland businesses moving goods to and from the European Union (including Ireland) will not change after the Transition Period.



Personal data is any information that can be used to identify a living person, including names, delivery details, IP addresses, or HR data such as payroll details. Most organisations use personal data in their daily operations. If you receive personal data from the EU for business use, you may need to take action on data protection. Additionally, if you provide online service in the EU, you will have to ensure that you are compliant with relevant requirements in each EU country you operate in.

✓ Be prepared on data protection and data transfers.

If you’re a business or organisation that receives personal data from the EU/EEA, you may need to take action on data protection as we transition to our new relationship with the EU. Check how you can legally continue to receive personal data such as names, addresses or payroll details from organisations in the EU or EEA from 1 January 2021. You may need to update your contracts or take other steps. A UK company that receives customer information from an EU/EEA company, such as names and addresses of customers, suppliers or partners to provide goods or services should check how they can legally keep receiving the data from 1 January 2021.
Click here to know more about the steps you need to take.

✓ Replace .eu top level domain names

If you hold a .eu domain, check if you need to replace it. From 1 January 2021, you’ll no longer be able to register or renew .eu domain names if your organisation, business or undertaking is established in the UK but not in the EU/European Economic Area (EEA), or if you live outside of the EU/EEA and are not an EU/EEA citizen. 

Other useful links:
▪ ICO Website - Data protection at the end of the transition period
▪ Legal aspects of information society services


The UK has left the EU and from 31 December 2020, free movement of people between the UK and EU will end. Currently, EU citizens have the right to move freely into the UK to live, work and study here. This will come to an end after the transition period and the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system.
The new system will change the way you hire from the EU and it is important you take the necessary steps to prepare. Anyone you want to recruit from outside the UK, excluding Irish citizens, will need to apply for permission first, and you will need to be registered as a licensed sponsor. Further information can be found below.
The new system will not apply to EU employees already working for you in the UK.

EU citizens and their family members living in the UK by 31 December 2020 can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Similarly, EU citizens who are employed, or self-employed in the UK, but live elsewhere, otherwise known as frontier workers, will be able to keep their status if they are frontier working in the UK by 31 December 2020, but they will need to apply for a permit. Additionally, EU citizens can continue to visit the UK for up to six months without applying for a visa and may also participate in a wide range of activities, including business-related activities, such as events and conferences.

Irish citizens will not need a frontier worker permit but may apply for one if they wish. 

✓ Signpost your current employees to the EU Settlement Scheme

If you employ EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, you can signpost them to the information they need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, enabling them to secure their future in the UK. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021. Find out more 

✓ Comply with the new immigration policies for recruiting from overseas

From 1 January 2021, the UK will introduce a points-based immigration system. EU and non-EU citizens will be treated equally and will need to meet certain requirements to come to the UK to work. If you want to recruit workers from outside the UK from 1 January 2021, you will need to be a licensed sponsor. Registering as a sponsor normally takes eight weeks and fees apply. Find out more about the new system, including how to register as a sponsor. 

✓ Check if a visa or work permit is required to travel to the EU for work purposes and apply if necessary.

If you travel to the EU for work purposes from 1 January 2021, you may need a visa or work permit. The country you are travelling to might also ask you to have other additional documents depending on the activity you perform. This advice may be relevant to anyone travelling to the EU for work purposes: this could include anyone working in the private, public or third sector, for example, professional and business services, manufacturing, charities, or the arts. For more information CLICK HERE

Other useful links:
Travel Advice
▪ Entry Requirements for providing services and travelling for business to the EU
▪ Further Guidance on visiting Europe from 1 January 2021
▪ Checking passport validity
EU Settlement Scheme
▪ Employer resources for understanding the new points-based immigration system
▪ Further guidance on frontier working in the UK 


Providing Services

If you’re a UK business or professional providing services in the EU or EFTA region, you will need to check the national regulations of the country you’re doing business in to understand how best to operate. You will also need to have your UK professional qualification officially recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in the EU or EFTA.

✓ Get your qualifications recognised now by EU regulators to be able to practise or service clients in the EU.

If you have a UK professional qualification you will need to have this officially recognised by the appropriate regulator for your profession in each country where you intend to work. You will need to do this even if you are only providing short-term or occasional professional services. If you do not do this, you may be unable to continue to practice or service clients in the EU from 1 January 2020.

For more information, visit Providing Services 

Other useful links:
European Commission’s Regulated Professions Database

Single Point of Contact



The EU ETS is the largest multi-country, multi-sector greenhouse gas emissions trading system in the world. It includes around 1,000 power stations and industrial plants in the UK. These include power stations, oil refineries, offshore platforms and industries that produce iron and steel, cement and lime, paper, glass, ceramics and chemicals. Other types of organisations, including aviation operators flying into or from a European airport are also covered by the EU ETS. Businesses should take necessary steps to ensure they meet compliance obligations by a certain date.


✓ Comply with UK emissions levels for 2020 by April 2021

During the transition period from 1 February to 31 December 2020, the UK remains a full participant in the EU Emission Trading Scheme. This means that participating UK operators must meet their 2020 compliance obligations.
UK operators will continue to be able to access their accounts in the Union Registry and any allowances they contain, for the purpose of 2020 compliance on 30 April 2021, and business should take necessary steps to ensure your business meets compliance obligations by this date.

Access to Union registry operator accounts after this date may no longer be possible. Additionally, as of 1 January 2021, trading accounts in the UK sections of the Registry will no longer have access to these accounts. If any account holders wish to continue holding allowances after their respective loss of access, they may wish to open a trading account in the Union Registry administered by an EU Member State and move their assets to this account.
More information is available HERE.

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