The UK’s chemical regulation scheme is set to diverge from the EU’s, after the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced a change to the post-Brexit system.

Following Brexit, the UK established an independent regulatory framework for chemicals known as UK Reach, initially borrowing heavily from the previous regime.

The European version, EU Reach, continues to apply in Northern Ireland under the Windsor Framework.

The government has said that not all data collected under EU Reach will be required under the UK version, indicating that the two versions will continue to diverge from one another.

According to a statement from Defra: “it has become evident as part of the review, that our regulators do not need to hold a complete replica of all the registration data on all chemical substances held under EU Reach in order for UK Reach to undertake its regulatory work.”

Industry experts have said that the proposals could result in less laboratory testing and lower compliance costs.