EU Brexit Preparedness (EU Brexit)

UK Exit day is 31st October 2019

Please read this Blog post carefully, if you have any questions or uncertainties as to your actions, please email to arrange a telecon.

Today, 12th June, the EU Commission published its fifth Brexit Preparedness Communication – it is a review of the state of the EU Brexit preparedness and contingency measures, and is important for activities in the EU and in the UK. The document is here.

Key elements :

(1) As stated in the fourth Brexit Preparedness Communication of 10 April 2019, the Commission is ready to propose financial support measures (applicable to the E27) to mitigate the impact in the most affected areas and sectors, taking into account the funds that are available and any adjustments on the expenditure and revenue side of the EU budget that might result from a disorderly withdrawal. For more immediate support to affected stakeholders, EU State aid rules offer flexible solutions for national measures. But see Item (4) below.

(2) In this review, the Commission screened all the EU-level measures to assess whether they are still fit for purpose given the extension of the Article 50(3) TEU period. On the basis of this screening, the Commission considers that the legislative and non-legislative Union acts continue to meet their intended objectives. There is therefore no need to amend them on substance. The Commission does not plan any new measures ahead of the new withdrawal date (31st October).

(3) The Commission adopted 16 non-legislative contingency acts under the EU sanitary and phytosanitary legislation in view of the previous withdrawal date of 12 April 2019 on the basis of assurances given by the United Kingdom. These measures are now obsolete due to the extension. However, if the United Kingdom continues to provide the necessary assurances, the measures will be re-adopted to apply as of 1 November 2019.

These acts cover the listing of the United Kingdom and its Crown Dependencies as a third country allowed to export live animals and animal products to the EU; and the approval of new or extended Border Inspection Posts in the EU27 Member States most concerned by UK imports.

They do not cover acts on the recognition of health marks for products of animal origin, heat treated pallets, or fortified flour (UK requests).

(4) In some sectors, companies indicated in March 2019 that they had not had sufficient time to adapt. The Commission strongly encourages stakeholders to take advantage of the extra time until 31 October 2019 to ensure that they have taken all the necessary action to prepare for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal.

They should ensure that the necessary regulatory authorisations are in place, that they have taken the administrative steps for cross-border trade and the necessary action for relocation, corporate reorganisation or contractual adaptations.

In particular, it will not be possible to place on the EU market after Exit day products which do not comply with the necessary requirements and authorisations.

As stated above, the Commission does not plan to adopt any new measure in view of a possible no-deal scenario or to compensate for a failure to prepare by operators.

The Commission considers that the additional time available because of the extension will in principle be sufficient for operators to adapt, so that even in cases where exemptions or derogations are available, they should not be necessary.

(5) EU27 Member States should screen their national contingency measures to ensure that they remain fit for purpose given the extension of the Article 50(3) period. In case of a no-deal withdrawal, the final preparatory measures must apply as of 1 November 2019 at the latest.

(6) Note the specifics on medicinal products, medical devices and chemical substances – page 5 of the document (link above).

(7) In the field of sanitary and phytosanitary controls (SPS), EU27 Member States have set up new Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) or extended existing ones at entry points of imports from the United Kingdom into the EU. As stated above, the non-legislative act approving these BIPs will need to be adopted again given the most recent extension of the Article 50(3) period. In the meantime, EU27 Member States should use the additional time to evaluate the need for any further adjustments to these BIPs to ensure that they are fully functional from the outset.

Furthermore, the Commission maintains regular contacts with the most concerned Member States so that, in a no-deal scenario, a landbridge route between Ireland and the rest of the European Union via the United Kingdom can be implemented swiftly, including support from the necessary IT systems.

(8) The international road haulage measure expiry deadline of 31st Dec 2019 is unaltered.

It is important companies review their supply contracts, and ensure suppliers are Brexit ready.

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