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Further delays to the UK’s post-Brexit Chemicals Strategy

Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) Chairman, Philip Dunne MP has voiced concerns that the decision to suspend work on the Chemicals Strategy, which outlines chemical registrations post-Brexit, could disrupt chemical availability once the Brexit transition period comes to an end.

While this would not directly impact the ag-chem industry, it could affect co-formulants used in plant protection products (PPPs) or other chemicals such as pheromones, says Hazel Doonan, head of crop protection at the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC).


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Cost

 

Ms Doonan says AIC members were alert to the potential additional cost and impacts of having to register chemicals under UK REACH for EU-based chemical manufacturers exporting to the UK, although she has not picked up any specific issues.

She said: “This would be the case if the UK market was not a particularly high volume to recoup the costs of registration and could impact the co-formulants used in PPPs or other chemicals such as pheromones used in pheromone traps for example.

 

“This could then mean some PPPs having to be reformulated and/or increased costs for UK based manufacturers.”

Regrettable

 

In a letter to DEFRA secretary of state, George Eustice, Mr Dunne said delays caused by Covid-19 were regrettable given the future regulatory framework for chemicals has been sought as a matter of urgency by the Committee since sessions held in 2016-17, in which the chemical industry said there was a lack of clarity surrounding practical regulatory steps that would be put in place once the transition period ends to enable the import and export of chemicals.

 

Mr Dunne said: “The Committee is concerned that ongoing uncertainty for the sector could damage access to vital chemicals for business following the transition period.”

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