Your complete guide to reaching to manufacturers and importers in UK

Your complete guide to reaching to manufacturers and importers in UK

More and more products are subject to a lot of restrictions. If you want to produce or sell in the UK, we advise you to read this article. Indeed, the REACH restriction will certainly be required.

REACH compliance aims to ensure that products are free of chemicals that are subject to restrictions such as heavy metals and other substances that exceed set limits. The most obvious examples are lead and various forms of phthalates.

This article will help you understand how manufacturers work and how to import products from the UK. DocShipper offers you its services to simplify your procedures. If you want to import or sell in the UK, our qualified experts in this field will be happy to help you with the complexities of REACH regulations.

DocShipper would like to remind you that this article only concerns the UK and not Northern Ireland, which is still part of the European Union.

UK REACH description

Like many countries today, there are a number of restrictions to follow when manufacturing various products. In the UK, REACH regulations list a number of chemicals and heavy metals. It does not only concern saleable products, so-called "finished products", but also raw materials. The UK REACH regulation invites interest in assessing other materials that may be hazardous to consumers. As you may have understood, this regulation mainly concerns manufacturers and importers according to the regulations in place in each country. In our article we will compare the UK REACH standard with the European Union standard. 

Since 2018, the European Union has guaranteed that this regulation will continue to work as planned, even despite the BREXIT of the United Kingdom.

DocShipper AdviceFor information the competent authority around the regulations on production and consumer goods in the UK is the HSE (Health and Safety Executive). In the European Union, the competent authority is the ECHA, known as one of the strictest on the globe. So before importing a product into Europe, do not hesitate to contact our sourcing department specialized in this field.

 Products concerned

As explained above, the REACH regulation in the United Kingdom concerns a large majority of chemicals and heavy metals, whether they are in their initial form, inserted in mixtures of several substances or in the form of finished products, distributed directly to final consumers.

Here is an exhaustive list of some of the finished products affected by this regulation; Toys, high-tech products (most of which include electronics), clothing and furniture are items subject to very strict controls.

Difference between the REACH of the EU and that of the UNITED KINGDOM?


The REACH regulation that applies to the UK also applies to the European Union. The two powers follow the same process in the implementation of this regulation, and in its operation; when an unauthorized substance is detected by an authority it must be registered.

To help you understand how it works, we give you an example. The UK REACH regulation (2008) is derived from the European Union REACH regulation, so there are big similarities between the two.

Docshipper Alert :If you want to enter the UK and European market, you will have to comply with the UK REACH regulation as well as the EU REACH regulation. Although they are quite similar, they may have small differences in some areas. Do not hesitate to contact our sourcing experts for more information.



The similarity between the United Kingdom and the European Union is confirmed through the list of restricted substances, but be sure to take a look at this list as some differences remain.

Docshipper Tip : For importers and manufacturers we recommend that you consult the list of restrictive products on the HSE website, and in parallel the ECHA website, to be sure of the goods to be imported or the materials that can be used in their manufacture. You can also contact our sourcing experts, very agile on this subject and who will save you time.

Substance registration


With the BREXIT context, all importers or manufacturers exceeding one ton or more of production per year are required to register their substances.

These traders are also subject to other rules;

- Obtaining all types of information on the properties and use of their production or imports exceeding one ton per year.

- They must also calculate the risks that these represent for the consumers as well as the interest of their use.

From 2021, these importers or manufacturers are required to register the substances used in the manufacture of their products on the site "comply with UK REACH".

It is important to note that once you register on the UK REACH website, you are not required to register on the European website as the EU REACH service communicates with the UK REACH service and has the same similarities.

You will therefore be subject to mandatory registration if you want to manufacture or import into the UK.

Restrictions on REACH substances for UK manufacturers


It is therefore very important to keep up to date with the list of regulated products as it is regularly updated by these two governments.

Nevertheless, we propose you a small exhaustive list of some substances listed in the United Kingdom and in the European Union:

- Substance : DeHP / DBP / BBP / PHATALATES / DIBP

Level below 0.1% by weight: for toys, childcare products and plastic materials. (same for UK and EU).

- Substance : Benzene 

Rate lower than 0.1% by weight: for toys or their components. (identical for both governments)

- Substance: Lead 

Rate lower than 0.05% by weight: for products from jewelry (identical for the United Kingdom and the European Union).

- Substance: Chromium VI 

Rate less than 0.0002% by weight: for products containing cement.

- Substance : Cadmium 

Rate lower than 0.01% of the weight: for products containing polystyrene and its derivatives.  (Same as above)

- Substance: Toluene 

Rate lower than 0.1% by weight: for adhesive type products

- Substance: Contained in tattoo and make-up inks

Unknown rate; to be implemented in 2022 (with additional bans on hydrocarbons, metals, methanol and azodyes).

 Disturbing substances (SVHC)


The UK REACH imposes further requirements on substances of very high concern (SVHC). These are classified as such because they represent a real danger to consumers and manufacturers; substances that are carcinogenic, that can harm fertility or that are just plain dangerous.

Some examples of SVHC substances

Here are some examples of products that may be classified as SVHC:

- Category 1A and 1B products; represent products that are carcinogenic and may harm consumer fertility.

- Products with persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) substances as components.

- Products classified as vPvB are products composed of very persistent and very bioaccumulative substances.

These materials can be found in consumer products but also in toys, paint, hair products such as hairspray and gel and also in cleaning products such as detergents.

We also advise you to take a look at our article on dangerous products for transport, which may be useful to you and complements the issues in this article.

What duties for importers and manufacturers

To help you, we have drawn up a list of things to do when your products contain one of these substances for importers and manufacturers. This list is to be followed by all importers or manufacturers exceeding one ton of production and/or people who produce or import products where the level of concentration of dangerous substances exceeds 0.1% w/w. 

- Obligation to communicate information on the listed substances contained in the products supplied.

- If produced or imported, the right to notify the HSE of the listed substances in the products supplied.

How to control products: UK REACH testing laboratories


If you do not know the exact composition of the manufactured or imported products, we advise you to use laboratories that will analyze the content of your products, so you will know if your products contain prohibited or restricted substances.

Here are some examples of laboratories within reach of France: LabCorp, Intertek, DEKRA UNITED KINGDOM.

Once these tests are done, you will be able to provide the test result, which is often required to market your products via various entities.

DocShipper AdviceYou can also look at our article on quality control,  proposed by DocShipper, our experts in this field know this area very well so if you find this part too technical do not hesitate to call on our services

DocShipper Advise : We help you with the entire sourcing process so don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

  • Having trouble finding the appropriate product? Enjoy our sourcing services, we directly find the right suppliers for you!
  • You don't trust your supplier? Ask our experts to do quality control to guarantee the condition of your goods!
  • Do you need help with the logistics? Our international freight department supports you with door to door services!
  • You don't want to handle distribution? Our 3PL department will handle the storage, order fulfillment, and last-mile delivery!

DocShipper | Procurement - Quality control - Logistics


Alibaba, Dhgate, made-in-china... Many know of websites to get supplies in Asia, but how many have come across a scam ?! It is very risky to pay an Asian supplier halfway around the world based only on promises! DocShipper offers you complete procurement services integrating logistics needs: purchasing, quality control, customization, licensing, transport...

Communication is important, which is why we strive to discuss in the most suitable way for you!

Interested in our services? Need personalized information?
Our experts will answer you within 24 hours

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *