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Since Brexit, the UK has had a separate way of managing chemicals on its territory, called UK REACH. Despite being inspired by EU REACH, UK REACH SVHC shows a few deviations. Let’s look at them!

What is UK REACH?

To start with, let’s summarize UK REACH. In a nutshell, UK REACH stands for the United Kingdom’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restriction of Chemicals regulation. It is a regulation that came into effect in the UK on January 1, 2021, following the country’s exit from the European Union. 

UK REACH requires companies manufacturing or importing chemical substances into the UK, either on their own, as part of a mixture, or in articles, to register these substances with the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE). 

Companies must comply with various obligations under UK REACH, including registration, data sharing, communication in the supply chain, and notification of substances of very high concern (SVHCs) present in articles. Failure to comply with UK REACH regulations can result in penalties, including fines and restrictions on the sale or use of non-compliant chemicals.

UK REACH Obligations for Articles

First, UK REACH resembles the EU REACH regulation, which it replaced in the UK. Indeed, REACH addresses chemicals in pure form, mixtures, and articles (or hardware products) in both jurisdictions. However, one can find a few differences when we deal with REACH regulations applicable to articles.



Like EU REACH, UK REACH aims to ensure the safe use of chemicals and protect human health and the environment by collecting data on the properties and uses of chemicals, assessing their risks, and imposing restrictions or authorizations for SVHCs. Therefore, producers of products containing an SVHC above the threshold of 0.1% w/w (weight by weight) at the component level must declare it. For instance, if we consider an electronic device, the component level is any line of the bill of materials (BOM). This rule observes the following principle: Once an article, always an article. As a result, if an SVHC is present above 0.1% in a tiny resistor, then the assembly manufacturer must declare it regardless of the final product. This rule is the same between the EU and the UK. 

In the EU, the SCIP database discloses the declarations of SVHC in articles.

Difference Between both Lists of REACH SVHCs

However, the UK candidate list of SVHCs is greater than the EU ones. Despite most declarable chemicals are the same, HSE has added additional ones. 

Examples of specifically UK SVHCs include: 

Substance Name


Applications (Where used)



Is a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) used in the dyestuffs and explosives manufacture and synthesis of drugs.

Phenol, 4-nonyl-, phosphite (3:1) - PIP (3:1)


PIP (3:1) is detectable in adhesives, epoxy resin, as a flame retardant and plasticizer in many applications, including electronic products. Interestingly, TSCA regulation also limits the use of PIP (3:1) in the USA.

Potassium 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoro-2-(heptafluoropropoxy)propionate


In the manufacture of fluoropolymers.

Annex XVII

To this date, the EU and UK REACH Annex XVII is identical. As a result, the restricted chemicals, applications, and thresholds are the same. However, chances are high that both jurisdictions develop different Annexes XVII, with national deviations.


The UKCA mark is equivalent to the EU CE one. Nevertheless, the CE mark is still valid in the UK under certain conditions.

UKCA label UK CE marking

How to Comply with the REACH Regulations?

Like EU REACH, manufacturers must determine the presence of SVHCs and ensure they comply with Annex XVII. 

The recommended approach for this endeavor is:

  1.  Audit your supply chain and get as much REACH information as possible. The EPEC form, with its REACh tab, can help you audit your suppliers and build a technical file. 
  2. Then, following a risk assessment, you may decide to go through a testing plan for product samples. Instruments like XRF and GC-MS will help determine the presence of the suspected chemicals above thresholds. A few labs focus on this type of chemistry testing. They have developed a robust methodology, following standards like ASTM 2931. 

How to Report a UK REACH Failure?

If you encounter a situation of non-compliance with the Great Britain (GB) REACH in Great Britain, you should report it to the relevant enforcing authority. This rule excludes Northern Ireland, which follows the procedure for EU REACH.

To report a concern regarding GB REACH to the appropriate enforcing authority. To ensure a thorough review of the complaint, please provide detailed information about the incident or issue, including the company involved, relevant products or chemicals, and the specific aspect of the law believed to be breached. Furthermore, include any pertinent documentation such as product labels, Safety Data Sheets (SDSs), or webpage links. It is essential to disclose your identity as HSE may not investigate anonymous complaints unless involving a vulnerable individual.

Contact Enviropass for any REACH compliance project.