IP and Brexit (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this day is set out in a Statutory Instrument)

This Blog does not post on intellectual property. But, in the interests of completeness, and because the matter of exhaustion of IP rights is a (possibly overlooked) aspect of the circulation of goods, this Blog post publicises the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) instructions on IP and Brexit (updated today 11th September).

Here

Extract

Intellectual property rights give rights holders the right to control distribution and re-sale of a product that is protected by IP after they have been put on the market.

Currently, exhaustion of IP rights occurs in the UK when an IP-protected good is placed on the market anywhere in the European Economic Area (EEA). This means that rights holders (such as the owner of a brand) may not prevent the movement of those goods within the EEA. These goods are known as parallel goods, which are genuine goods (that is not counterfeit).

While the UK remains a full member of the EU, intellectual property rights remain exhausted after the first sale of a good. This is with the right holders permission and within the territory of the European Economic Area (EEA).

If there is a no-deal, the UK will continue to recognise EEA exhaustion so the rules affecting imports of goods into the UK will not change. Goods placed on the market [in the EU], after the UK has exited the EU, will continue to be considered exhausted in the UK. This means that parallel imports of these genuine goods from the EEA to the UK will continue unaffected.

However, there may be restrictions on the parallel export of goods from the UK to the EEA. This is because goods placed on the UK market, after the UK has exited the EU, will not be considered exhausted in the EEA.

Businesses that wish to export IP-protected goods to the EEA that have already been legitimately put on the market in the UK, may need the rights holder’s consent. All businesses may wish to seek legal advice on how this arrangement could affect their business model or intellectual property rights.

Foreign Students (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this date is in a Statutory Instrument)

Today, 11th September, HMG announced foreign students would be offered a Graduate Route of 2-year stay for work after study.

Here

This will be a 2-year post-study work visa, open to all graduates.

Students will need to have successfully completed a degree from a trusted UK university or higher education provider which has a proven track record in upholding immigration checks and other rules on studying in the UK.

This will sit alongside the 3-year Euro TLR announced for EU nationals arriving after Exit day. (See recent post)

And the Ireland-UK Common Travel Area (CTA).

UPDATE : A second announcement on the 2-year post-study work visas is here.

Other sector announcements were the creation of a new fast-track visa route for scientists and the removal of the limit on PHD students moving into the skilled work visa route.

Manufactured Goods (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this is the date in a Statutory Instrument)

Yesterday (10th Sept) HMG re-published its instructions on Manufactured Goods.

Here

I did Blog post these instructions in March, note the UKCA mark. The UKCA mark is not available yet. CE marks will continue for a temporary period.

The Sept publication has an update reminder that Distributors will be Importers.

By now, everyone should be Brexit Ready.

The specific text re Importers – (note the EEA and Switzerland reference)

If you are currently a UK distributor, you need to confirm whether you or your supplier will become an ‘importer’ once the UK leaves the EU. This will usually be the case if you are the one bringing goods into the UK from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, and want to put them on the UK market after Brexit.

If you are becoming an ‘importer’ you will need to ensure you understand your legal obligations. You will need to make sure:

• goods are labelled with your company’s details, including your company’s name and a contact address (for 18 months after Brexit you can provide these details on the accompanying documentation rather than on the good itself)

• the correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and that any good you import carries the correct conformity markings

• the manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation and complied with their labelling requirements

• you maintain a copy of the declaration of conformity for a period of 10 years

• you do not place a good you import on the market if you have reason to believe it does not conform with the relevant essential requirements

Export Health Certificates (NI Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this date is set out in a statutory instrument)

An Export Health Certificate (EHC) is an official document that confirms a food or animal export meets the health and quality requirements of the importing country.

The EHC has to be signed by a vet or other qualified person in the exporting country after they have inspected the goods.

Food products being imported into the EU from a non-member state require EHCs.

They’re signed by vets to assure the importing country that produce is safe and without them trade can’t happen.

Around 18,000 of them a year are currently produced in Northern Ireland mostly to cover the trade in live animals to Britain.

This Blog does not cover animal or food trade, but many have asked me questions on this matter, and so here is my Blog post.

Various persons raise the issue of scarcity of vets and EHC costs, in Northern Ireland. It is possible the UK could cut a deal that would see it follow the EU’s rules for a period after Brexit, allowing trade to continue while a permanent arrangement was worked out. But this would not get around the need for a huge number of trade certificates, in any event.

DAERA (the relevant NI agency) says it is recruiting new staff and retraining existing ones to cope with the new trading arrangements.

“While we anticipate that current trade will adjust, it is difficult to gauge demand for certification as businesses may not make decisions until post Brexit. We are currently assessing the resources available and how we will prioritise based on the potential scale of the demands.”

It is encouraging businesses to sign up to advice workshops it’s beginning to run from next week.

Exit day changes (update) (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this date is in a UK Statutory Instrument that is commenced)

This post updates a post I wrote a few days ago, of similar title.

Today, the House of Lords agreed (without amendment) the Bill – the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill 2019 – brought by persons other than the Government of Johnson-DUP. This Bill now gains Royal Assent by a matter of course.

The Act (therefore duly enacted) will oblige the Prime Minister to seek to extend the Exit day to 31st January 2020 by letter in the form set out in the Schedule (and to accept immediately any EU agreement to extension – and to accept any other EU proposed extension in two days unless the House of Commons rejects it) –

unless by 19th October Parliament consents to Exit without a deal or it agrees to a new deal with the EU.

The Act will also oblige the Government to make regular reports to Parliament on the progress of negotiations with the EU.

The bill was amended in committee in the House of Commons. The amendment added a statement to the bill setting out that the intention of the request for an extension to article 50 would be to pass a withdrawal agreement bill.

This, however, does not create a legal duty to pass a withdrawal agreement bill.

The Johnson-DUP administration already has Crown powers (available to it) to suspend Parliament during dates in September and October. It is expected to suspend Parliament on Monday, after a second request of Opposition Parties to dissolve Parliament so that a General Election may be held. Opposition Parties this morning agreed to oppose the Johnson-DUP administration in this request.

The Prime Minister said today that he would not extend the Exit day. The EU appears to signal that it could regard enactment of the Act as a legal request, even if it’s not made by the Prime Minister.

It is also possible a deal is agreed with the EU that is accepted by Parliament, by the 19th October, but this looks remote.

I will next issue a Blog post on the matter of Exit day changes in mid October, on the assumption that (1) Parliament is not dissolved to hold a General Election, and (2) Parliament is suspended until then.

Food Safety (Ireland Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October

(a separate post will notify if/when this date changes, and it is unlikely a future exit day will be later than 31st January 2020)

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has a Brexit section online (last reviewed 6th August 2019) that presents relevant information for persons who trade with the UK (this includes Northern Ireland) as part of a food business.

There is a huge amount of information on this online site.

A Q&A document consolidates much of it – here (dated 2 April 2019)

A key component is the Border Inspection Posts (BIPs). As the reader is aware, there is an International Land Border between Ireland and Northern Ireland (a part of the UK). This is known as the Irish Border.

The Irish Government is working with the EU to establish additional BIPs to serve trade across the Irish Border. The location of these additional BIPs is not yet announced, other than statements made by the Irish Government that they will be located away from the actual Irish Border physical position.

The BIPs at Dublin and Shannon (page 9 of the Q&A) are already set up.

Building Safety (England)

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government made a statement in the House of Commons this morning – this is the video of the statement – here.

Accompanying this are the following announcements –

(1) sprinkler review for high rise homes – here

(2) consultation on sprinklers and fire safety measures in new high rise blocks of flats – here

(3) consultation outcome of the Technical Review (call for evidence) of Approved Document B of the Building Regulations – here

Please read these announcements carefully.