Thank you for contacting me about the testing of chemicals on animals.
The UK has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and it is right for us to cement our status as a global leader by continuing to raise the bar now we have left the EU. I would like to reassure you that Ministers have stated their determination that there should be no need for any additional animal testing for a chemical that has already been registered to EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).
I am pleased to tell you that the Government will recognise the validity of any animal testing that has already been undertaken and so avoid the need for further testing. The grandfathering of all existing UK-held REACH registrations into the UK system will further avoid the need to duplicate animal testing associated with re-registration.
After the transition period, the UK will be able to establish its own independent chemical regime. Although both the UK and EU will operate REACH frameworks, the two systems will not be linked. This means that companies wishing to retain access to the UK market will be required to notify and submit registration data to the Health and Safety Executive to confirm the registrations and ensure compliance with UK REACH.
As I understand it, the data that supports each substance's registration in REACH is not owned by individual companies or the European Chemicals Agency, but by a commercial consortium of companies. Although there will be some UK companies that already own that data, others will need to negotiate access to fulfil the UK requirements. The Government has set out that to enable businesses to meet the separate requirements of the two markets, the UK and EU could, as part of a Chemicals Annex, agree data and information sharing mechanisms. I am aware that the UK is continuing to negotiate a deal on data sharing with the EU.