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CBA News


2 March 2017

In a stark message for UK Government Brexit negotiators, the Chemical Business Association (CBA) has called for the current REACH provisions to be amended in order to preserve access to European markets for UK chemical distributors.

In its submission to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, CBA highlights the potential risk to its distributor member companies once the UK leaves the European Union.

‘Under the current terms of REACH, UK distributors would not be ‘non-EU manufacturers’ as they import and distribute, rather than manufacture. As such, they could not appoint an Only Representative to comply with the existing REACH provisions. Many UK distributors importing substances from outside the EU may effectively be excluded from European markets.’

CBA’s Chief Executive, Peter Newport, said, “Unless the UK Government negotiates revised terms or some sort of opt-in, UK distributors importing substances from outside the European Union are likely to be denied access to European markets.”

CBA has raised the need for the status of products already registered by its member companies under REACH in 2010 and 2013 to be clarified.

Peter Newport said, “It should be a key aspect of the UK negotiating position to secure the continuance and benefits of these registrations post-Brexit.  This will be of crucial importance to the UK industry.  Failure in this respect will irreparably damage a significant proportion of the UK chemical supply chain.”

Further information from:
Peter Newport, Chief Executive
01270 258200


(1) A recent CBA survey revealed that in a sample of 55 member companies 75 substances had been registered as an importer and 61 as a manufacturer.  As this data only applies to the first two REACH deadlines (2010 and 2013), it safe to assume these registrations apply to high volume substances, not the low volume substances critical to advanced manufacturing or formulating processes.

(2) To read CBA’s full submission to the Environmental Audit Committee, go to:

(3) CBA is scheduled to give oral evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee
on Tuesday 21 February 2017.

(4) The Chemical Business Association (CBA) represents the independent chemical supply chain.  Its membership includes distributors, traders, warehouse operators, along with logistics and transport companies.  CBA’s members, the majority of which are SMEs, are the main industry interface with thousands of UK downstream chemical users.

(5) CBA member companies employ more than 8,700 people.  They distribute, pack, and blend nearly 4 million tonnes of chemicals each year with a market value of almost three billion euros.  In addition, CBA’s logistics member companies handle more than four and a half million tonnes of chemicals annually.

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