With the UK set to begin its withdrawal from the EU in the coming period, concerns over regulatory alignment have been high on the agenda for industries across the board.
In its report, entitled ‘The room where it happens’, the CBI has put forward its recommendation that in some instances, the UK could reasonably withdraw from certain EU regulatory bodies.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), which dictates rules and regulation in the chemicals industry (including chemicals’ use in consumer goods and related industries), is one body with which the CBI has recommended the UK remains aligned.
“The role of the EU bodies that create, monitor and enforce these rules will be an important part of the negotiations to come, as well as one of the most complex,” explains the CBI of its report, which can be found here.
“For business, there are some areas where the UK could regain sovereignty over regulation and leave these bodies. “In other areas, integration with both the rules and the bodies is crucial for the UK’s competitiveness and influence on the global stage, as well as control over its future.”
Sticking with the ECHA
When it comes to the UK chemicals industry, the guide explains how closely integrated the UK’s regulation and practice has become with European supply chains.
As such, it suggests that leaving the ECHA’s guidelines would mean that UK national businesses face "a serious competitive disadvantage from having to comply with a UK version of REACH in addition to the European version in order to import and export.”
Reporting on the guide, Chemical Watch notes that its recommendations align with those of other industry bodies.
“The UK's Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA) has recently said a national REACH law that separates the country from authorities like Echa after it leaves the EU, would be detrimental for companies in the chemical and cosmetics sectors,” the publication explains.