Notification of status as a GB-based downstream user or distributor under EU REACH

October 19, 2021

The Downstream User Import Notification (DUIN) process has been put into place to streamline compliance with chemical registration obligations under UK REACH, post Brexit. Complying with this notification allows companies and businesses to continue their trades under UK REACH. 

Why is compliance with this deadline important?

If you are an importer of substances into GB in quantities greater than 1 tonne per annum, you or your supplier must submit a DUIN to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to continue your import activities. Please keep in mind that by submitting a notification to HSE within the first 300 days of the end of the transition period, this notification effectively defers the submission of the complete registration by up to 6 years. 

UK REACH applies to protected transitional imports for which there are three key conditions:

  • The substance must have been EU REACH registered
  • The substance must have been imported into GB between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2020
  • The notifier must be a legal entity based In Great Britain (either as a GB importer or as the Only Representative (OR) of a non-GB based manufacturer or formulator)

Who is this applicable to?

  • GB-based corporations  who were importing mixtures and substances into GB from inside the EU—and intend to continue importing post-transition.
  • GB-based businesses who were importing chemical substances and/or mixtures into GB from outside of the EU, under an OR agreement held by an EU-based entity, and expect to continue post-transition. 
  • Those based outside the GB—including formulators, manufacturers and article producers—who want to appoint a GB-based OR (post transition period), to notify on behalf of their GB-based importers.

If you were not previously a registrant, downstream user or distributor under EU REACH, and you wish to import chemicals into GB for the first time, you will be required to submit a new registration form. You can find more information for new registrants under UK REACH in the following link: https://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/new-registration.htm

Downstream User Import Notification (DUIN)

Under EU REACH, GB-based companies that were downstream users or distributors before the end of the transition period will become importers when UK REACH enters into force. Article 127E (under UK REACH) provides the transitional provision for these GB-based legal entities.

Who can notify to HSE and when?

  • If downstream users and distributors wish to continue importing from the EU into GB, under EU REACH, they can notify HSE regarding the substances they want to import. Users have 300 days post the transition period to make the notification; once the notification has been made, the registration obligation is deferred for up to 6 years plus 300 days post transition period.
  • Note: If users choose to not submit a notification, they have two options:
  • A complete registration is due for any mixture or substance imported ≥ 1 tonne/year
  • The import must end
  • If the manufacturer, formulator or article is non GB-based, they can appoint a GB-based OR to submit notifications under Article 127E on their behalf. An OR can only be appointed once UK REACH is operational. 
  • GB-based importers, who are also downstream users due to the designation of an EU-based OR (under EU REACH), are able to submit a notification under Article 127E, including newly appointed GB-based ORs making this notification on behalf of them). 

Please keep in mind that a downstream user import notification (DUIN) is not a pre-registration (concept of pre-registrations does not exist under UK REACH).

Article 127E of the statutory instrument (SI) implementing REACH and its information requirements can be found in the link below: ​​http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/758/schedule/2/made

It is important to note that the registration deadline is dependent on the tonnage and/or hazard profile of the substance. More information on this can be found in Table 1, below. 

Table 1. UK REACH tonnage bands and hazard profiles

Deadline (last date for dossier submission)TonnageHazardous property
27 October 20231000 tonnes or more per yearCarcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic for reproduction (CMRs) – 1 tonne or more per yearVery toxic to aquatic organisms (acute or chronic) – 100 tonnes or more per yearCandidate list substances (as at 31 December 2020)
27 October 2025100 tonnes or more per yearCandidate list substances (as at 27 October 2023)
27 October 20271 tonne or more per year

Source: https://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/duin.htm

What do you need to do?

Within 300 days of the end of the transition period, you need to do the following:

  1. Use the Comply with UK REACH service on gov.uk to indicate that you are an existing downstream user or distributor. At this point your UK REACH DUIN number will be issued to you (this only needs to be done once per legal entity and covers all substances you wish to continue importing from the EU. This fulfils the Article 10(a)(i) information requirement of Article 127E).
  2. Populate the downstream user import notification with information about the substances that you wish to continue importing by using the template (some information only has to be included if it is available to you).  When available, you should list individually all of the substances that you wish to continue importing from the EU—one per line on the template. To access the template please click on the following link: https://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/duin-template.htm
  3. Send the completed spreadsheet to ukreach.dunotification@hse.gov.uk. You should include your legal entity name and DUIN number in the subject line of the email.
  • It may be easier to fulfil some of the information requirements by attaching a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) to the email rather than including it in the spreadsheet, e.g. the Article 10(a)(iv) information of classification.
  • Where an SDS for a substance is attached to the email along with the spreadsheet, the spreadsheet must also list that substance.

Please don’t forget that  only substances should be notified, not mixtures. If you import mixtures, you will need to consider the individual substances within those mixtures and calculate if any of them will be imported at or above 1 tonne per year. Where information about a substance is not available to you, that information need not be provided. This is important to importers of mixtures, where your supplier may not wish to divulge the composition of their products.

Within 300 days plus either 2, 4 or 6 years of the end of the transition period—depending on tonnage band and/or hazard profile—if you wish to continue importing into the UK from the EU, you need to do the following:

  1. Submit a new registration to HSE for each substance that you wish to continue importing after the relevant deadline (there is more information in Table 1 above), complying with the full information requirement for your tonnage band under UK REACH. 

Always keep in mind that the first step to any new registration is to submit an Article 26 inquiry, more information can be found in the link below:

https://www.hse.gov.uk/reach/new-registration.htm.

The information requirements for registration under UK REACH are identical to the requirements of EU REACH.