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How is Brexit Affecting the Sale of Cleaning Chemicals?

How is Brexit Affecting the Sale of Cleaning Chemicals?
04 August 2021 | Updated 01 October 2021

Manufacturers that have failed to re-register their cleaning chemicals on the GB Article 95 List may not be able to sell in the UK market.

Some cleaning chemical companies have made the decision that it is too expensive to re-register so will be moving out of the UK market. 

The UK chemical industry represents more than 7 per cent of total EU-28 sales and the EU chemical industry represents 52.5 per cent of UK sales.


"Whilst to date the Government has responded with welcome changes in some respects, many companies believe that more needs to be done to avoid the withdrawal of products and substances from the GB market, which will potentially have an impact on innovation as well as on jobs and users’ choice.”

–BACS Spokesperson


What is the GB Article 95 List? 


The GB Article 95 List gives details of the suppliers for active substance combinations that can be used in biocidal products in the UK.

If the active substance supplier is not on the GB Article 95 List, then the biocidal product containing that active substance cannot be made available on the GB market. 

A biocidal product is a product with an active substance that is intended to destroy harmful or undesired organisms. Examples include disinfectants, preservatives for aqueous products, anti-microbial products and insecticides.

All companies making biocidal products available in the UK must be able to demonstrate a clear auditable supply trail from a GB Article 95 active substance supplier.

However, the law does not prohibit the use of stocks of products that had already been supplied before your supplier was removed from the GB Article 95 List.


More Pragmatic Solution Needed?


BACS is a trade association whose members operate in the speciality chemicals sector of the chemicals supply chain.

A BACS spokesperson told us: “It is likely that many companies will be considering whether to incur the costs of re-registering existing products and the substances they contain to comply with legislation applying in GB since 1 January in order to be able to continue to supply what is a relatively small GB market.  

"Companies with registrations currently supplying the GB market, whether GB-based or not, have already incurred equivalent costs in previous years on these registrations to comply with the EU legislation on which the GB regulations are now based.  

"There are various deadlines in GB regulations, including the UK REACH regulation, which regulates most substances on the market not regulated by product-specific legislation, and the GB Biocidal Product Regulation (GB BPR), which regulates biocidal products and the active substances they contain, including cleaning products making biocidal claims and disinfectants.   

"Within GB BPR itself there are various deadlines for re‑submitting approval and authorisation dossiers, including 31 December 2022 to remain on the GB BPR Article 95 List of approved suppliers.

"Whilst of course new products and substances must be registered, industry has for several years discussed with Government more pragmatic alternatives to full re-registration for existing products and substances already registered under EU legislation prior to 1 January this year, to reduce costs for the Government as well as industry without weakening the health, safety and environmental outcomes which the legislation is designed to achieve.  

"Whilst to date the Government has responded with welcome changes in some respects, many companies believe that more needs to be done to avoid the withdrawal of products and substances from the GB market, which will potentially have an impact on innovation as well as on jobs and users’ choice.”

ThisWeekinFM approached the Chemical Industries Association, who declined to comment.

Picture: a photograph of some plastic cleaning dispenser bottles

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 04 August 2021


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