Chemicals Export / Import Regulation

Exporters of certain hazardous chemicals to non-EU countries have particular obligations under the Export-Import or Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation (EU) No 649/2012 (further amended by Regulation (EU) 2018/172). The objective of this law is to allow countries to monitor and to control the export and import of certain hazardous chemicals. It also allows countries to refuse acceptance of these chemicals and/or to place certain conditions on their import. Please see our Export/Import homepage for further information.


The UKs withdrawal from the EU

The UK withdrew from the EU on 31 January 2020. However, with the ratification of the withdrawal agreement and Northern Ireland Protocol, a transitional period applied until 31 December 2020 meaning that UK companies were required to continue to comply with EU chemicals legislation. The transitional period finished at 23:00 on 31 Dec 2020. The EU Commission has clarified the legal situation relating to the export and import of hazardous chemicals listed in the PIC Regulation from 1 Jan 2021, in a Readiness Notice. From this date, EU law on the export and import of hazardous chemicals no longer applies to the United Kingdom with regard to Great Britain, i.e. England, Scotland and Wales. Please see below for rules relating to Northern Ireland.

Any chemical listed in the PIC Regulation and already on the market in the EU or the UK before the end of the transition period, may continue to be made available on the EU and UK markets until it reaches its end-user.


Export or Import from 1 January 2021

Exports to Great Britain from the EU from 1 Jan 2021

Notification obligations

From 1 January 2021, any export of chemicals listed in Annex I of the PIC Regulation from Ireland to Great Britain (UK (GB)), will require prior notification to the Irish designated national authority. Notification is submitted via the PIC IT application, ePIC, at least 35 days prior to the expected date of export. In addition, all chemicals listed in the PIC Regulation and exported to Great Britain must be classified, labelled & packaged according to the CLP Regulation. For more information, please see our CLP webpages and our ‘obligations of EU exporters’ webpage for further information.

The export of chemicals listed in Annex I Parts 2 & 3 of the PIC Regulation will additionally require explicit consent from Great Britain prior to export. The designated national authority will request explicit consent from the authority in Great Britain, which is recorded in ePIC and will determine whether export of these chemicals may take place.

Reporting obligations

Exporters of chemicals listed in Annex I of the PIC Regulation must submit an annual report in ePIC confirming export information by 31 March of the following year. Therefore by 31 March 2022, exports of chemicals listed in Annex I of the PIC Regulation to Great Britain (and other non-EU countries) during 2021, must be reported. Please see our webpage for further details.

Imports from Great Britain to the EU from 1 Jan 2021

Notification obligations

From 1 January 2021, the import of chemicals listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention (or Annex I Part 3 of the PIC Regulation) from Great Britain to the EU (Ireland) must be notified by the authority in the exporting country. The EU Commission will provide an import decision to permit or prevent the import of such chemicals. Further specific details can be read in Part A of the Readiness Notice.

Reporting obligations

EU (Irish) importers of chemicals listed in Annex I of the PIC Regulation from Great Britain must submit an annual report in ePIC confirming import information by 31 March of the following year. Therefore by 31 March 2022, imports of chemicals listed in Annex I of the PIC Regulation from Great Britain (and other non-EU countries) during 2021, must be reported. Please see our webpage for further details.

Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol and the implications under the Export/Import Regulation

The Northern Ireland Protocol provides that the PIC Regulation will continue to apply to Northern Ireland for four years following the end of the transition period. During this four year period, shipments of chemicals between Northern Ireland (UK (NI)) and the EU will not be considered as exports/imports under the PIC Regulation. Shipments of chemicals between Northern Ireland and non-EU countries must continue to comply with the Regulation.


The shipment of chemicals listed in Annex I of the PIC Regulation from Northern Ireland to Great Britain will comply with the parts of that Regulation implementing the Rotterdam Convention. Therefore, from 1 January 2021, Northern Irish exporters of chemicals listed in Annex I of the PIC Regulation to Great Britain must notify in ePIC at least 35 days prior to the expected date of export. However, Northern Irish exports of Annex I Part 2 chemicals to Great Britain will not include the additional requirement for explicit consent.


The import of chemicals listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention (or Annex I part 3 of the PIC Regulation) from Great Britain to Northern Ireland will continue to require an import decision of the EU. Further specific details can be read in Part C of the Readiness Notice.

Further information: