Less than one Month until the UK REACH DUIN Deadline – What do I need to know?

By Kathryn Tearle, Deputy Chief Scientific Adviser

With the upcoming deadline for Downstream User Import Notification (DUINs) at the end of this month, a summary of the important information for downstream users in the process of completing their DUINS is provided.

Under UK REACH, any GB-based legal entity intending to import a substance into GB at or above 1 tonne per year is required to submit a registration to HSE for that substance.  A DUIN (downstream user import notification) provides a transitional provision which was put in place to aim to help minimise disruption to your business.  GB-based companies that were downstream users or distributors under EU REACH are able to notify HSE regarding the substances that they wish to continue importing into GB from the EU.  The notification under Article 127E of UK REACH, or DUIN, must be made by 27th October 2021 and effectively defers the registration obligation until up to 6 years plus 300 days from the end of the transition period. Under the DUIN, you are not obliged to register unless you wish to continue to import the notified substance after the registration deadline.

DUIN submissions are currently open for companies meeting the following criteria:

  • A GB based company whose supplier held an EU REACH registration prior to the end of the transition period and who was a downstream user of that substance in the two years prior to the end of the transition period.
  • An Only Representative, based in GB who has been appointed by a non-GN manufacturer or Formulator that currently holds an EU registration and imported the substance to the UK in the two years prior to the end of the transition period.

What do you need to do to submit a DUIN?

For the majority of these companies processing of the DUIN should be straight forward and includes the following steps:

  1. Use the Comply with UK REACH service to indicate that you are an existing downstream user or distributor.
  2. Populate the DUIN with the information about the substances that you wish to continue importing.
  3. Send the completed spreadsheet to the HSE including your legal entity name and DUIN number.

The HSE is urging all eligible companies to submit a DUIN for as many substances as possible before the DUIN deadline, as this is their only opportunity to suspend the full registration obligations.  For DUINS, where information about a substance is not available to you, that information need not be provided. This is of particular relevance to importers of mixtures, where your supplier may not wish to divulge the composition of their products.  The HSE has stated that information for the DUIN should be provided “to the extent that it is available”.

The information should be submitted in the spreadsheet with all the substances that you wish to continue importing from the EU, one substance per line on the spreadsheet.  When listing a substance, HSE asks that you include at least one of the following: substance name, CAS number or EC number and any other information requested if it is available to you.

However, the HSE has also provided further advice on specific situations as outlined below:

  • Polymers - Companies that import Polymers may not have access to the monomer information for that polymer. The HSE have advised that for common polymers to use the “best guess approach”, that is to say, provide the most likely monomer information based on the likely composition of that polymer.
  • Unknown substances – Companies importing products/formulations may not be aware of the non-hazardous components of the formulation. HSE stress that you can’t tell them what you don’t know and should thus focus on what you do know.

What if I was not a downstream user of the substance prior to the end of the transition period?

Any new GB importers who have not previously imported the substances into GB will not be covered by the DUIN since they are not eligible to the provision.  This means that in order to begin importing equal to are greater than 1 tonne per annum a full registration will need to be completed for the substance.

If it is likely that the substance will be registered under UK REACH, then submitting a registration as a New Registrant of an Existing Substance (NRES) under UK REACH would be appropriate.  In this case, the registration process is slightly different.  To provide parity with grandfathered registrants and the former GB-based downstream users, although they must submit their registration dossier, the provision of the submission of the full information requirements for registration can be deferred either 2, 4, or 6 years plus 300 days since the end of the transition period.

In this situation, if the registrant is not be in a position to include all the test summaries; the dossier that is submitted for registration should include a waiver statement that explains why the registrant is not currently able to get the information; and that they will make every effort to negotiate with the other members of the Substance Group and will either provide the data themselves as lead registrant or will become a member of the joint registration.

Thus, if you wish to import a new substance into GB, it is worth checking the newly published list of grandfathered substances to see a registration has been grandfathered.  If so, in order to be compliant with UK REACH and begin importing the substances in GB at or above 1 tonne per year, you will be required to submit an Article 26 Inquiry, submit the registration dossier with the wavier statement and pay the registration fee.  You will then have up to 6 years plus 300 days to submit the full information requirements.