Chemicals

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered at on 24 May 2023.

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Photo of Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Baroness McIntosh of Pickering Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost to the UK chemical industry of simultaneously (1) adapting to the UK REACH programme, and (2) maintaining compliance with the EU REACH programme, insofar as it is necessary for trade with the EU; and what the impact has been on exports of chemicals in the past three years.

Photo of Lord Benyon Lord Benyon The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The most significant cost associated with the transition to UK REACH relates to registration. The estimated cost to industry of this is £2bn over six years; however, this estimate is uncertain and actual costs would be a matter of commercial negotiation. In response to this, we are exploring alternative arrangements for UK REACH transitional registrations, aiming to significantly reduce industry costs whilst ensuring high standards to safeguard public health and the environment. This work is still in progress, including working with industry stakeholders to better assess the practical and cost implications of different options, for example through regulators and industry volunteers preparing model dossiers. The requirements for the registration of novel chemicals to EU or UK REACH remain the same. We do not hold information on the costs faced by firms in complying with regulatory regimes outside Great Britain. Although values of chemical exports are increasing, this is not generally reflected in volume, suggesting that inflationary pressures are contributing to the figures.

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