Reminder : updated Blog Posts

I updated the Waste (EU) post with an important change. The Waste (UK) post is also updated.

Please make sure to note when I write within a post, that I will update that post.

Post updates are not notified by email, and I don’t issue posts notifying which posts I updated. So keep a record to check the post that’s of interest itself on the platform.

UK exits the EU (third country status)

I posted several times regarding EU Notices and Notices from EU regulatory agencies. These remind that the UK will be a third country (as respects the EU) on exit at 12pm CET 29th March 2019. If you have not already done so, please read these Notices.

Any Transition Period that is agreed is in the context of the EU-UK Withdrawal Treaty, and will continue certain EU arrangements only.

One of the aspects is UK membership of EU regulatory agencies (third countries are not members of EU regulatory agencies).

On 11th April 2018, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed that the EU27 member states and the EMA had completed the task of redistribution of the UK portfolio of centrally authorised medicine and veterinary products. The UK will not be a member of the EMA on its exit. Arrangements were already in place to relocate the EMA (from the UK) to an EU27 member state.

Please read the information that is published about this redistribution here.

UK exits the EU (more EU Notices)

More EU Notices were issued 21st March (and one on 19th March) – here.

Reminder : the UK is a third country on 30th March 2019. Please read the EU notice that applies to your operations. Note also that EU Agencies (on the link) also issue Notices.

The EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement (subject to ratification) may change this date to 31st December 2020 with conditions (via transition clauses in the Agreement).

The EU-27 agreed today its guidelines for its negotiation of a EU-UK trade deal. These guidelines are here.

UK exits the EU (more EU Notices)

Further EU Notices were issued on 12th March. All Notices are gathered here.

Reminding : EU decentralised agencies also publish information in relation to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, for example the Community Plant Variety Office, the European Chemicals Agency, the European Medicines Agency and the European Union Intellectual Property Office.

Furthermore, the three European Supervisory Authorities (the European Banking Authority, the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) and the Single Supervisory Mechanism have issued opinions and guidance.

Notices are important because they set out the legal position that will operate from March 2019. Transition arrangements that might be agreed may change the requirements.

Waste Crime (UK – E&W)

DEFRA is conducting a consultation on proposals to tackle crime and poor performance in the waste sector, and introduce a new fixed penalty for the householder waste duty of care. The consultation closes on 26th March 2018, and applies to England and Wales. The consultation document is here.

One part of this consultation proposes changes to the waste exemption regime (set out in Schedule 3 of the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 (as amended)).

Waste exemptions are exemptions from the need for an environmental permit for waste recovery and disposal operations. Since exemptions were first introduced in 1994, the government has made extensive use of them (within the EU rules) to provide a light-touch form of regulation for small-scale, low risk waste management activities.

In England and Wales, there are 59 types of exempt waste operations available for the use (U), treatment (T), storage (S) and disposal (D) of waste. Similar provisions exist in Scotland and Northern Ireland (but note the exact exemptions are different).

Apart from exemption T11 for the treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), it is free to register one or more exemptions at a site. The registration is valid for three years and then automatically expires, and can be re-registered or “renewed” for another three years. Each exemption has conditions setting out the types and quantities of waste that can be managed. The conditions also set out what treatments can be carried out, how the waste must be stored, and which environmental protection measures must be complied with.

Registering an exemption is not the same as applying for and receiving an environmental permit. A permit amounts to “permission” from the regulators to carry a set of particular activities. In contrast, by registering an exemption, the establishment or undertaking is self- certifying that they have read and understood the conditions of the exempt activity and will comply with them. At the point of registration, the regulators do not assess whether the criteria defined in the exemption are met.

The proposals set out for consultation focus on four areas: (pages 40 to 67 of the consultant document)

1. Prohibiting the use of waste exemptions in specified circumstances;

2. Making changes to the ten waste exemptions identified as being associated with the greatest levels of non-compliance and illegality;

3. Requiring additional information to support effective regulation of the regime;

4. Improving the process to register or continue an exemption.

Use the resources set out here to respond to this consultation.

Subscribers (England and Wales) to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists will receive an Email Alert when the EPR changes.

Returning EU powers (UK)

The UK government has today published its provisional analysis of the returning EU powers that will result in the devolved administrations of the UK receiving extensive new powers as the UK exits the EU. This document is here.

The analysis covers 153 areas where EU laws intersect with devolved competence. There are 24 policy areas identified that are subject to more detailed discussion to explore whether legislative common framework arrangements might be needed, in whole or in part.

Please look out for further Blog posts, as the situation evolves.

[the image is a screen grab of the first page of the 24 policy areas, found on page 17 of 21]

Personal Protective Equipment (EU)

Existing PPE Directive 89/686/EEC covers the manufacture and marketing of personal protective equipment. It defines legal obligations to ensure that PPE on the European market provides the highest level of protection against hazards. The CE marking affixed to PPE provides evidence of this protection. Manufacturers or their authorised representative in the EU comply with the technical requirements directly or with European Harmonised Standards. The latter provides a presumption of conformity to the essential health and safety requirements.

Applicable 21 April 2018, Directive 89/686/EEC is repealed by the new Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2016 on personal protective equipment – here.

The new PPE Regulation is aligned to the EU’s New Legislative Framework policy. In addition, it slightly modifies the scope (enlarged to include PPE designed and manufactured for private use to protect against heat) and the risk categorisation of products. It also clarifies the documentary obligations of economic operators.

As a European Regulation (not a Directive) it is directly binding on a Member State (and on operators marketing to a Member State) without enactment of national law (although national law may be additionally enacted).

Brexit : PPE is covered by the EU Notice on Industrial Goods here. (I have posted a number of times with links to EU Notices)

Brexit in the UK, this new EU PPE Regulation applies from 21 April 2018, after Brexit it applies via the EU (Withdrawal) Bill. NB: the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is not yet enacted.

Subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Checklists will be sent an Email Alert of the addition of this new EU Regulation to the PPE Register and Checklist component in their websystems.