Guidance on allocation of enforcement responsibilities between REACH enforcing authorities

The authorities given enforcement responsibility by the REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008 are those with existing remits to protect human health, consumer safety, and the environment:

  • the Health and Safety Executive (HSE);
  • the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI);
  • the Environment Agency (EA);
  • the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA);
  • the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA)
  • the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC); and
  • Local Authorities (LAs), as regards health and safety and consumer protection (trading standards).

Regulation 3 and Schedule 1 of the REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008 sets out which enforcing authority is responsible for enforcing which provision of REACH and the limitations on that duty, though broadly speaking:

  • HSE, as UK REACH Competent Authority (CA), will enforce registration related duties across the UK (this includes enforcement responsibility for environmental aspects of these duties as well as occupational health and safety).
  • HSE will enforce supply chain related duties in GB up to the point of retail sale (again including environmental aspects as well as occupational health and safety), and for retail sale local authority trading standards departments are responsible. HSENI will enforce the same in Northern Ireland.
  • HSE, HSENI, EA, SEPA, NIEA, DECC and LAs will enforce use related duties in REACH as per existing arrangements for enforcing occupational health and safety and environmental protection legislation. The diagram below sets out which enforcing authorities are involved.

Arrangements for enforcing use related duties under REACH

For further guidance:

  • On deciding whether HSE is the correct enforcing authority, see regulation 3 and Schedules 1 and 2 to the REACH Enforcement
  • Regulations 2008, and OC … 'Arrangements for the enforcement of REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals)'.
  • On referring matters to other enforcing authorities, see the Memorandum of Understanding for the enforcement of REACH.

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Updated 2022-08-16