Importing chemicals - What do I need to know?
This page outlines the regulations on the import of chemicals and how to comply.
Are you an importer of chemicals?
A chemical importer is a person or company that physically introduces a chemical into the customs territory of the European Union (unless the chemical is subject to Customs’ procedures and not remaining in the EU).
You are the importer if you are the consignee for the chemical at the time of import.
The term ‘chemical’ covers both substances and preparations (mixtures of two or more substances).
Regulation (EU) 649/2012 also applies to importers of articles. An ‘article’ is a finished product containing or including a chemical the use of which has been banned or severely restricted by European Community legislation in that particular product (e.g. wood treated with arsenic compounds - see Annex XVII of REACH legislation.
Does the legislation apply to importers?
What do I need to do?
If you import chemicals, you need to consider the type of export (substance, preparation or article and follow our guidance on How to identify restricted or banned imports - step-by-step.
If you have been through the steps in How to identify restricted imports and:
- none of the checked substances in your imported substances, preparations or articles is listed in Annex I, then you have no duties under EU Regulation 689/2008.
- However,you should check that the intended use of an imported chemical is compatible with any EU or national restrictions visit the HSE's chemicals website
- For general guidance on importation requirements, see HMRC web pages on import
- the checked substances in your imported substances or preparations are listed in any part of Annex I; or the checked substances in your imported articles are listed in Part 2 or 3 of Annex I then you need to provide information to your Designated National Authority (DNA).
- In the first quarter of each year report the quantity of each chemical imported from each country during the preceding year. The report should specify:
- Importer (name and address);
- Chemical or Chemical/Preparation name or Chemical/Article;
- Exporting Country;
- Address of Exporter;
- Send the information to the DNA of the EU country in which the importer is a registered company, not the DNA of the country into which the import occurs. This requirement applies to all imports made into the EU even if the import did not occur into the country in which your company is registered.
- The Health and Safety Executive is the Designated National Authority for Great Britain.
Importer tonnage return templates
You can use our importer tonnage return template to provide this information,