Twelve months ago, it was difficult to imagine that any news story could cause an issue as huge as Brexit to go on the back burner – but the furore around Britain’s exit from the EU faded into near-oblivion in the face of a global pandemic that has put lives and the economy in peril.
Nevertheless, Brexit is happening – and while frantic talks about how it will happen are continuing, businesses are doing what they always do, and getting on with things by planning for the worst case, or in other words, a ‘no deal’ scenario.
Will Ramsol be affected by Brexit?
We hope that the effects will be minimal, if any. Ramsol is manufactured in the UK, and a large percentage of sales are from within the UK. However, we have secured important business in Europe this year and it remains a target geographic for 2021. As such, we’ve had lots of work to do to prepare for Brexit.
There are some key pieces of legislation that affect us as a manufacturer of a biocidal product in the EU, and from January 1, this legislation will be void in this country. However, in a bid to support continued trade with the EU, the UK Government is setting up ‘mirror images’ of the EU legislation in UK law, and we must ensure we continue to be compliant with these rules.
So for instance, let’s take EU-REACH. REACH stands for Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, and compliance is compulsory for companies manufacturing or importing chemical based products for sale in the EU. In order to comply, companies must prove that all the ingredients in their product, no matter where they come from, are registered for use in the EU. Any risks must be clearly communicated and the EU can restrict the use of registered products if these risks are not easy to manage.
EU-REACH will now be replaced with UK-REACH, and products like Ramsol with an existing REACH certificate will be grandfathered into the new system. The same applies to the EU Biocidal Products Register (EU-BPR) which will now be replaced with the UK-BPR.
Finally, the UK is implementing a mirror system for the EU’s Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation (CLP) which was brought in to standardise the way hazardous substances and mixtures are classified and labelled.
In Europe, the new Annex VIII to the CLP also comes into force on January 1, 2021. This involves some changes to the way that information is reported to the EU’s poison centres. These centres hold crucial information about all hazardous substances and formulations on the EU market, such as how they should be stored and what to do if they are spilled or ingested.
EU-CLP will continue to apply in Northern Ireland after Brexit under the Northern Ireland protocol. For the rest of the UK, GB-CLP will come into force, and will be administered by the HSE. This means that in order to export product to the EU, or sell into Northern Ireland, we must submit new poison centre notifications for Annex VIII into both systems.
Is all this work really necessary?
As a group, Quin Global views this as an opportunity to carry out a full audit of our products and indeed our supply chain from the bottom up, ensuring that everything is completely watertight in terms of EU and UK compliance and taking all possible steps, both in terms of legislation and logistics, to avoid any disruption for our customers.
We would like to reassure Ramsol customers that while our product will be minimally affected by the implications of Brexit, we are well on our way to completing all due diligence that will offer users total peace of mind in terms of the product’s safety and compliance, no matter where they are in the EU. More detailed information about what Quin is doing as a group to prepare for Brexit can be found at www.quinglobal.com