UK REACH explained

UK REACH is a regulation that applies to the majority of chemical substances that are manufactured in or imported into Great Britain (GB) (England, Scotland, Wales). This can be:

REACH stands for registration , evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals.


Under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, the EU REACH Regulation was brought into UK law on 1 January 2021 and is known as UK REACH.

REACH, and related legislation, were replicated in the UK with the changes needed to make it operable in a domestic context. The REACH Statutory Instruments that made these changes can be found on The key principles of the EU REACH Regulation were retained in UK REACH.

The UK REACH and the EU REACH regulations operate independently from each other. You must ensure you comply with both regulations, where necessary.

UK REACH regulates chemicals placed on the market in GB.

Under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol, EU REACH continues to apply in Northern Ireland.

Aims of UK REACH

The aims of UK REACH include to:

Your duties under UK REACH

Your business must identify and manage the risks presented by substances you manufacture and place on the market in GB. You must be able to demonstrate how the substance can be used safely and you must communicate the risk management measures to the users.
You will need to consider your role in the supply chain in GB and how you use chemicals  to determine what your obligations may be. Your previous role under EU REACH may have changed significantly under UK REACH so you should review your role(s) (previous GB downstream users under EU REACH may now be importers under UK REACH).

Scope and exemptions

Generally, UK REACH applies to all individual chemical substances on their own, in mixtures or in articles. Some aspects of UK REACH only apply at one tonne per year or more. For more information go to our guidance on UK REACH registration.
Some substances are specifically excluded:

Some substances, covered by more specific legislation, have tailored provisions under UK REACH, including:

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Updated 2022-09-20