REACH and Pesticides (UK Brexit)

UPDATE (31 Jan 2019) : the Pesticides area is now elaborated with new guidance – here.

I posted before about HSE having the role of registering Chemicals (in the event of no deal), because there would no longer be access to ECHA. HSE has now elaborated its online presence a bit more, with guidance and instructions. This online presence also gives access (left hand side) to Pesticides instructions.

Here

In addition, a draft REACH Brexit statutory instrument was published. This is loaded into the Brexit Law List, accessed from subscribers’ Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists systems.

This draft instrument identifies the new domestic law will be a UK amended version of the EU REACH Regulation.

It is a complex draft instrument, it confirms the safety data sheets would be continued, with some changes, and confirms the downstream user obligations would also continue, again with some changes. The document is here.

In due course, we (Cardinal Environment) will produce a consolidated version of this new domestic law.

Please see this Chemical Watch analysis of the draft instrument, here.

In the event there is a deal, or a FTA, the law could change again. I will update this post, and/or issue a new port.

Brexit Update (EU, UK, Ireland)

Yesterday was a series of votes in the UK Parliament on the matter. Monday, the day before, was an announcement from the UK, and today there are announcements from the EU.

UK

(1) New European Temporary Leave to Remain. This will apply to EU and EEA nationals arriving in the UK after 29 March 2019. Persons wishing to stay longer than three months must apply and be granted European Temporary Leave to Remain which will last three years (and is non-renewable). Persons wishing to stay or to arrive after 1st Jan 2021 must do so under the new UK skills-based immigration system (the legislation is before Parliament).

The European Temporary Leave to Remain applies is there is no deal. If there is a deal that has the transitional arrangements set out in the current deal (that is not yet ratified) then registration under EU rules will apply after 29 March 2019. There is no announcement to elaborate that system, yet.

(2) Yesterday’s votes in Parliament do not ratify the deal (Withdrawal Agreement and Future Partnership Declaration). A further vote will take place on 14th February. It is not certain if that vote will ratify the deal. I will Blog post again.

(3) there is also an announcement re healthcare as respects UK nationals living in the EU/EEA area and Switzerland, here. See here for the position vis a vis Ireland.

(4) I updated (on the Blog post itself) re the expedited customs procedures that are planned for imports from the EU/EEA. I posted about these recently. Note as presently planned, these will not apply to the international border on the island of Ireland.

(5) Further Brexit regulations are in draft form and enacted – see the Brexit Law List in subscribers’ Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Checklists.

EU

(1) the EU has a contingency plan and measures already published, and these are the Factsheets and Q&A here.

(2) today, the EU has published further measures, these deal with social security coordination, amongst other matters. And earlier the EU had issued measures to deal with Fisheries. The Press Release for today’s publication is here, and it has useful links from it.

Ireland

An omnibus bill of contingency measures is now published, here. Amongst other matters, this includes Healthcare.

Waste Transhipments (UK Brexit)

As you know, on exit day (without an agreement in place) the UK will be a third country as respects waste shipments to and from EU member states, and to and from EEA countries (the EU Waste Shipment Regulation is incorporated into the EEA Agreement, NB however, shipments to Norway were always regarded as an export).

DEFRA is working behind the scenes to continue current consents (under the EU Waste Shipment Regulation) beyond the exit day, subject to certain conditions being met.

DEFRA has now informed the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) on their latest enquiry, that (per the CIA email to members) “98% of existing consents under the EU Waste Shipments Regulation have attained agreement from EU member states to continue their validity if the UK withdraws from the EU without a deal. However, there will be additional administrative procedures to follow so please contact your regulator if you require clarification”.

Spain remains the only outstanding member state, and the CIA will continue to work with Government on resolving this issue. The CIA ask to be advised if Spain is of relevance to your waste streams and you have not already informed them, or DEFRA.

[my thanks to a client, for the above information, the understanding is “there were 557 consented exports as of November 2018. As of last week, all bar the 12 Spanish ones (including Gibraltar) have obtained agreement from the MS/CA”.]

HMRC (Imports) Customs Simplifications (UK Brexit)

Disclaimer : this Blog is not focused on Customs arrangements per se.

UPDATE (19 Feb 2019) : further easements – here.

UPDATE (4 Feb 2019) : these are now published – here. Transitional simplified procedures – here.

UPDATE : these do not apply to trade across the international border on the island of Ireland. These are initial plans from the UK side, they are not worked through with the EU (or agreed with the EU). In no deal, EU agreement is not needed, the EU is just supplied with the documentation they need for their processes.

HMRC has a Customs Partnership Pack, it’s in its third edition. Here.

I am hearing about substantial simplifications planned for EU/UK trade. Also for RoRo traffic. Available for undefined time but 12 months’ notice will be given if changes planned. These are not yet published. I will update this post, as necessary.

(1) Customs declarations and pre-notifications still required but various simplifications available to avoid congestion. Traders able to lodge them ahead of goods arriving at the border or into company’s records.

(2) Initial declaration submitted in the company’s own commercial records. Once the goods arrive in the UK a supplementary declaration is lodged.

(3) Transitional arrangements very similar to the two existing customs procedures Customs Freight Simplified Procedures (CFSP) and Entry in Declarants Records (EIDR).

(4) Brokers able to use own CFSP authorizations without being jointly liable for customs duties. Only importer liable to encourage brokers to use own CFSP. Unlike now. This simplification available for all trade, not only EU-UK.

(5) Relaxation of comprehensive guarantee requirement. Simpler version of the guarantee available for all traders without the need to meet the current CCG requirements. Sufficient time given to provide a guarantee.

(6) Only anti-smuggling (Border Force) checks at the border on selected shipments based on risk-analysis. Reminder -this is what currently happens. Even goods from other EU countries currently undergo these checks.

(7) Special simplifications for customs formalities also for traders of controlled goods (requiring a licence or a certificate).

[my thanks to Dr Anna Jerzewska, trade expert, for the above information]

Carbon Emissions Tax (UK Brexit)

I posted before about a carbon emissions tax being introduced in the event the UK access to the EUETS (the EU Emissions Trading System) is discontinued following Brexit.

The Finance (No. 3) Bill, out for Royal Assent, makes provision for this. Once enacted, the Act will be added to the Brexit Law List (in subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists systems).

An information note is also published, here.

This note identifies that a Carbon Emissions Tax is one option being pursued by the UK Government.

The note sets out how the new Carbon Emissions Tax would operate.

The existing CCL is unaffected.

The new Carbon Emissions Tax will come into force via separate statutory instrument.

Brexit Status – next steps (UK Brexit)

Exit day is currently set as 12pm CET 29th March 2019.

Yesterday, the UK Parliament voted down the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration package that had been agreed between the EU and UK to provide for an orderly exit.

On the UK side, although some laws are on the statute book, there is still substantive Brexit legislation that only exists in draft form, or not at all. But UK Technical Notices are published, and some Government ministries have issued more detailed information, notably HMRC, the Department for Transport, and the Home Office. Blog posts set these out (category UK Brexit Notices).

Subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists have a continually updating Brexit Law List loaded to their UK systems (or jurisdictional UK variants).

On the EU side, EU Brexit Preparedness Notices are issued, and a Contingency Plan is in place, with a useful Q&A. Blog posts set these out (category EU Brexit Notices).

The international EU-UK land border is on the island of Ireland. I posted recently on Ireland’s Brexit Preparedness. An omnibus bill of measures will be introduced shortly. I updated my Blog post online, please scroll down the latest posts.

Next steps :

(1) today, the UK Government faces a no confidence motion, which it is expected to win

(2) Monday will see the UK Prime Minister give a statement to Parliament

(3) the next days will see the UK Government explore other sorts of arrangements for an orderly exit, and it is possible the exit day could be put back to give more time.

I will issue a new Blog post next week, with any progress made.

As I said in recent Blog posts, if subscribers to the Cardinal systems wish to set up a Brexit telecon with me, to run through specifics, please email me. At the moment, I am holding these telecoms at no extra charge.

New Air Quality Strategy (England)

DEFRA has today published its new Air Quality Strategy, for England (most aspects of air quality management are devolved matters). This document is here.

Scotland already has its own Air Quality Strategy, information is here. Wales and Northern Ireland are developing theirs.

The England document states :

(1) New legislation will create a stronger and more coherent framework. (This will be contained in the Environment Bill, which is not yet published save for the governance aspects).

(2) New England-wide powers will control major sources of pollution (some aspects listed below).

(3) New local powers will enable action in areas with an air pollution problem, including powers to create Clean Air Zones for all air pollution sources, in the Environment Bill, not just smoke, as exists currently (under the existing Clean Air Act).

(4) A commitment to bring all national and local monitoring data into a single online portal. Currently an online portal, with trigger alerts, exists for the London area.

(5) A commitment to publish a new target for fine particulates PM2.5, and evidence (early in 2019) on the action needed to achieve the WHO target of 10 micrograms per metre cubed. Note, the EU limit of 25 micrograms per metre cubed is met, and the second stage target of 20 micrograms per metre cubed is on target (the document states) for 2020.

(6) A commitment to provide a personal messaging system (see above comment re the London alert system).

(7) A commitment to creating a new target for reducing deposited reactive nitrogen (a target is specified).

(8) New legislation will compel manufacturers to recall non-road mobile machinery for failures in emissions control technology (this legislation is not yet published).

(9) New legislation will ban the sale of the most polluting fuels.

(10) Changes will be made to existing smoke control legislation, via the Environment Bill, to improve enforcement.

(11) Medium combustion plant emission standards will be reviewed.

(12) A National Air Pollution Control Programme will be developed with the devolved governments (as required by the EU National Emissions Ceilings Directive) for publication in 2019.

The above is a selection only, there are further commitments in the document itself.