EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October 2019

On the evening of 14th May (two days ago), the UK Government said it would bring the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill to Parliament in the week beginning 3rd June 2019 (two weeks time).

The EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill is not published. The Bill is needed to implement the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement that is signed but not ratified by the UK.

This Institute for Government explainer sets out information about the Bill – here.

It is unlikely that Parliament will enact the Bill. There are a number of reasons for this, covered in the Institute for Government explainer and publicised almost daily in the media. I will issue a new Blog post if it is; and if it is, it will be a major change to the going forward arrangements.

The Exit day is the day the UK leaves the EU, unless Article 50 is revoked in which case there is no Exit day.

The arrangements for conducting trade with the EU and other matters regulated presently by EU law, after Exit day, will be as set out in ‘No Deal’ Notices and other instructions, and may be subject to change as these arrangements firm up, or new arrangements created. This Blog contains many posts drawing attention to these new arrangements (please check the different Blog categories). I update the posts online if there are updates. Or I issue new Blog posts.

Changes in the date of the Exit day must be agreed between the EU and the UK, and are not in the gift of one side unilaterally. By decision of the European Court, Article 50 may be revoked by the UK on its own.

[The Exit day may change, please keep following this Blog]

Radioactive Waste Shipment (UK Brexit)

The Exit day is 12th April (the day after tomorrow) – the Exit time is 12.00 (midnight) CET

The UK Government today issued updated instructions on radioactive waste shipment – here.

Applications to import from EU countries will need to include evidence confirming that the exporter will take back the material if the shipment cannot be completed in accordance with the regulations.

Operators will need new UK documentation instead of previously used EU documentation.

Operators will now need to notify the relevant competent authority in the UK once exports to the EU are completed.

What operators need to do

1 Comply with current regulations until Exit day. These are set out in the Transfrontier Shipment of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel Regulations 2008.

[subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists will not necessarily have these regulations loaded – email me if they are needed]

2 Read and understand the new Transfrontier Shipment of Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. These will apply from 13th April, or any later Exit day.

[these Regulations are found in the Brexit Law List loaded into Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists]

3 Check authorisations. Operators who already have authorisations should check if they are valid by contacting the relevant competent authority.

4 Apply for an authorisation, if needed. Operators without existing authorisation will need to apply to the relevant competent authority using the authorisation of shipments form.

5 Use documentation with each shipment. Appropriate documentation must accompany each shipment. A failure in this area is a criminal offence.

6 Notify the competent authority. Operators must notify the relevant competent authority in the UK of completion of shipments using the notification of arrival form. Failing to notify them will be a criminal offence.

[the Exit day may change, please continue to follow this Blog]

REACH No 2 (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 12th April

I posted yesterday (DEFRA post) that a second REACH SI (Brexit Law) would be enacted. It is now laid, and comments may be made on it for the next few days only.

The document is here.

The instrument amends the REACH etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (the “REACH SI”). It adds to one of the transitional provisions relating to imported substances.

The REACH SI is here.

[the Brexit Law List in subscribers’ Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Checklists is being updated again today. So check later today.]

Information per the Explanatory Note here

What did any relevant EU law do before exit day?

Controls on the use of chemicals are set out in Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals and establishing a European Chemicals Agency (“the EU REACH Regulation”). The REACH SI makes amendments to the EU REACH Regulation to make it operable in the domestic context and create a domestic regime for chemicals. The REACH SI contains a number of transitional provisions to allow for uninterrupted production and supply of chemicals, including one to allow the continued import of substances from the European Economic Area (“the EEA”) (“the transitional import provision”). That provision allows the importer of the substance two years from exit before they have to register the substance with the UK Agency. In the meantime the importer must provide the UK Agency with a notification within 180 days of exit.

Why is it being changed?

After the REACH SI was laid, the Department received representations from industry about the transitional import provision. Industry was concerned that, as drafted, it would still lead to disruption in the supply chain in the case of substances imported from outside the EEA. Industry was also concerned that the provision did not allow an only representative to send the required notification to the UK Agency. Only representatives are UK-based entities appointed by non-UK manufacturers, formulators or producers to fulfil the obligations of importers under the REACH Regulation. The EU REACH Regulation contains an equivalent provision regarding EEA-based only representatives. While industry has not provided detailed evidence of the impact, the Government has decided to reduce the risk through this instrument.

What will it now do?

This instrument adds to the transitional import provision. The revised version will also apply to imports to the UK from outside of the EEA where an EEA-based only representative had registered the substance under the EU REACH Regulation prior to exit. It also inserts a new provision that allows UK-based only representatives to provide the notification to the UK Agency.

Continue reading

DEFRA Update (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 12th April

This morning the DEFRA Secretary was before the House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee, updating on UK Brexit preparations and arrangements.

(1) A second REACH SI will be issued, this will be additional to the existing SI that was re-issued recently – in draft still. These two Statutory Instruments (SIs) will seek to address the deficiencies raised by the Chemical Industries Association and others.

(2) All 120 DEFRA SIs are now laid, 8 are not yet enacted, including the second REACH SI. These are expected to be enacted by 12th April.

[Please continue to follow the Brexit Law List in subscribers’ Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Checklists. Note : some of these SIs are lengthy, and each may correct deficiencies in lots of different existing UK laws. We will begin work on these Brexit SIs to consolidate the text into existing laws supplied before 12th April.]

[The Brexit Law List includes SIs issued by other Government departments, additional to DEFRA, pertaining to ENV and OHS. I posted recently that all Brexit SIs had now been laid, across all government departments.]

(3) A ‘Shadow Body’ will carry out work (as respects environmental governance – outside the EU, a governance gap is identified) in the interim after 12th April, until the Office for Environmental Protection has been set up under the Environmental Principles and Governance Bill (which is not enacted, and is stacked above the Brexit Bills in terms of their landing as enacted Acts, and indeed may not be enacted in this Parliament).

I posted before about the Environment Bill – the Principles and Governance Bill is one part of the Environment Bill that was promised by the UK Prime Minister and confirmed by the DEFRA Secretary – the full Environment Bill is not published, and the DEFRA Secretary said nothing this morning about progress, nor was he asked any question about it.

Office and staffing resources have been identified for the Shadow Body, and a “distinguished lawyer” has been approached to chair it. DEFRA will release details as soon as it is possible.

The job of the Shadow Body will be to refer infringements to the Office for Environmental Protection. “The full rigour of the law will be used in the interim against offenders”.

(4) Sector instructions are issued re waste storage, and the Environment Agency (EA) – I posted yesterday about the EA temporary regulatory policy statements.

(5) Dynamic regulatory alignment will be maintained with EU (animal and animal product) standards for the rest of this year, in order to achieve listing as a Third Country for live animal and animal product exports to continue to the EU, and across the international border on the island of Ireland.

This listing is not yet confirmed, but confirmation is expected by 12th April.

DEFRA will intervene to support in vulnerable sectors, the example given is headage payments per ewe to sheep farmers re sheep meat.

(6) Dynamic regulatory alignment (animal and plant standards) will be maintained for the rest of this year, to continue access to EU TRACES (IT system). The EU TRACES system is – here.

Again, continuity of access is not yet confirmed. Ireland has made an offer, which the UK has accepted.

(7) As an independent coastal state, UK would have the right to stop vessels fishing in UK waters. But, the policy is for a continuity approach respecting the quotas and access agreements reached in the EU December Council, for the rest of 2019.

(8) The IPAFFS (UK IT system for animal and animal product imports) is up and running. The UK IPAFFS system is – here.

[TRACES must be used until 12th April.]

(9) The AVLS (existing UK IT system for animal, animal product, plants and plant product imports) interfaces with the new Brexit HMRC systems, and the PEACH system (I posted about PEACH recently) as set out here.

[the Exit day may change, please continue to follow this Blog]