Are you aware of the new EU regulation 1148/2019? Chemical substances and mixtures are used on a dai... >>
Interested in developing anti-microbiological solutions? Covid-19 has made us all reconsider how we protect... >>
Mighty Creosote - why can’t it be used anymore? Creosote is a mixture of many different substances... >>
Linseed Oil - an important ingredient for various industries The origin of the flourishing Belgian linseed oil ... >>
Categorisation of refrigerant substances and mixtures Cooling systems require a fluid passing through th... >>
Customer-Centric Approach to Incoterms The main purpose of Incoterms (International Comme... >>
What does Brexit mean for the chemicals industry? Since June 2016, when the people of the UK voted i... >>
What is a UFI, and where and when is it needed? A hot topic in the chemicals industry right now is... >>
Green Coatings - Reality, future or a dream The expectations for European Coatings Show 2019 w... >>
Thermoset Applications - Better quality through the use of Additives Bubbles, scratches, unevenness of the color, slipp... >>
Improved quality and cost savings through new process at hot-dip galvanising plant in Finland First of a kind, fully automated flux iron removal... >>
WPC - Durable and dashing alliance of wood and plastic Wood-plastic composites (WPCs) are continuing to d... >>
Legislation concerning the manufacture of detergents and cleaning products Manufacturing just about any product these days re... >>
Current trends in the detergents and cleaning products industry The detergents and cleaning products industry play... >>
Ecolabel detergents and cleaning products The terms “life cycle thinking”, “the circular eco... >>
Circular economy promotes sustainable development and competitiveness Growing populations and ever-increasing economic a... >>
Finnish industry needs to reduce emissions further >>
TMT 15: Safer solution for cleaning heavy metals from flue gas >>
Do you know where your table salt comes from? We know that salt is important for bodily function... >>
Efficiency and savings through new product innovations The path from a fiber to a finished textile involv... >>
What to consider when choosing a biocide? Anywhere there is moisture and a potential food so... >>
Which properties are really needed for your textiles? Is the answer always the best available properties... >>
Construction quality has an immense impact in the durability of the pavement The performance of pavement depends on the choices... >>
How to manage waste in metal treatment industry? >>

What does Brexit mean for the chemicals industry?

Since June 2016, when the people of the UK voted in a referendum to leave the European Union the news has been full of Brexit .However, in the months since, there has been no clear answer to the question of how and on what terms the country should make its departure. With the UK currently tied to the EU’s REACH Regulation, the result of the referendum has caused inevitable concern among stakeholders within the chemicals industry. And a succession of parliamentary debates and votes have only served to prolong the considerable uncertainty that the industry is facing.

According to Cefic (The European Chemical Industry Council), the UK contributes on average 9% (€46.3bn) of total EU28 chemicals sales of €531bn. EU chemicals exports to the UK are around €22.3bn, while EU chemicals imports from the UK total €20.3bn.

The impact of Brexit on businesses on both sides of the Channel will be huge and touch all industrial sectors across Europe. For the past two years, the EU 27 and UK have been negotiating the Withdrawal Agreement, which establishes the terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union. The Withdrawal Agreement is central in the process, as it outlines the first steps of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides the terms for a transition period until the end of 2020. However, as the negotiations have been tough between the parties, there is a risk that the UK will now leave the EU without any agreement. The chemical industry is concerned that a no deal Brexit would leave too little time for businesses to prepare and would lead to major economic disruptions.

The general concern towards Brexit is based on two major reasons: Its impact on the countries’ trade relations and the chemicals management system REACH. For the latter, Cefic highlights that if the UK were outside REACH post-Brexit, this would require companies on both sides of the Channel to duplicate pre-existing registration duties for a UK-REACH. This would not only weaken the international competitiveness of both EU and UK based chemical companies but, more importantly, also risk divergence of health, safety and environmental levels of protection on both sides.

The consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union on companies will depend on their role in the delivery chain pursuant to the chemical legislation. When a company operating in the UK becomes a non-EU company, the role of distributors and downstream users in the delivery chain will change so that in many cases they will become importers in the EU.


Substances that require REACH authorisation can no longer be used on the basis of authorisations granted to UK-based suppliers after Brexit. These substances can only be used on the basis of authorisations granted to suppliers based in EU/EEA Member States, or the user will need to apply for authorisation themselves. Authorisations are granted by the ECHA.

UK-based manufacturers and formulators can transfer their authorisation to an only representative based in one of the remaining 27 EU Member States or the EEA.

The manufacturers can also transfer their authorisation or pending application for authorisation to a new only representative based in the EU-27/EEA, appointed by the non-EU manufacturer. However, UK-based importers cannot transfer their authorisation to an only representative in the EU-27/EEA. Many UK-based manufacturers have already transferred some of their manufacturing to the EU-27 countries or started the preparations for doing so when needed.


We at Algol Chemicals have contacted all our UK-based suppliers in order to secure smooth deliveries after Brexit. If realised, Brexit is likely to cause some delays with deliveries, but otherwise the availability of products from the UK is secured so that business can continue as usual. Our UK-based suppliers are also committed to continuing their compliance EU regulatory standards regarding, for example, REACH, BPR and Product Labelling and Safety Data Sheets (CLP) after Brexit.