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GB REACH enforcement

Reporting an incident or concern

If you have a concern about non-compliance with the GB Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation (GB REACH) in Great Britain (GB) you should report it to the appropriate enforcing authority.

Find out which is the right enforcing authority for concerns with GB REACH.

The right enforcing authority for concerns about non-compliance with other laws that HSE oversees may be different. For other chemicals laws go to:

Other health and safety concerns - eg working at height, manual handling, welfare facilities, use of vehicles at work

If your concern relates to the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation (EU REACH) in Northern Ireland – please visit the HSE NI website.

Reporting GB REACH concerns to HSE

If HSE is the appropriate enforcing authority for your concern about GB REACH, you should report it to the Enforcement Team in our Chemicals Regulation Division (CRD) directly. There is no need to fill in any forms, just email us at [email protected]. To ensure we can consider the complaint fully, please:

Please note: We will not investigate your complaint if you choose to remain anonymous and tell us that you do not want HSE to disclose that a complaint has been received, unless a vulnerable person is involved.

How we enforce

If you contact us about a concern with GB REACH we:

HSE may not be able to investigate everything that is reported to us - we have to prioritise according to the severity of hazard and risk of harm to persons, animals and the environment. We will focus the majority of our resource on:

As part of an inspection or investigation we may:

More information on the principles of HSE's investigations can be found on our central enforcement pages.

Offences and penalties

It is an offence for a person to fail to comply with, or cause another person to fail to comply with, their duties under GB REACH.
Other offences include:

It is important to note that GB REACH applies in parallel with a number of other laws, including other general chemical law such as GB CLP and General Product Safety (GPS) Regulations, and more specific chemical law such as the GB Biocidal Products Regulation (GB BPR) and GB Plant Protection Products Regulation (GB PPPR) - this means that compliance with GB REACH does not excuse a failure to comply with another law, and vice versa.

Where HSE determines it is appropriate to prosecute a person for an offence, they may be tried:

If a prosecution results in a conviction, then the Court will determine what penalty is appropriate in the circumstances. The maximum penalties available are set out in law and vary depending on whether:

The Courts will usually fine an offender, although there is often no limit on the amount of fine that can be awarded, and in certain circumstances a Court may sentence an individual to up to two years in prison (as well as, or instead of, a fine).

Notices and prosecutions

Details of HSE's successful prosecutions and the notices we have issued are published on our website in the register of prosecutions and notices.

Updated 2021-01-06