Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Bill 2017-2019 (UK)

UPDATE : the Resolutions are agreed and the Bill has been given its FIRST READING. The date of the SECOND READING is not announced. The Bill is here. The Explanatory Notes are here.

A Bill to impose and regulate a duty of customs by reference to the importation of goods into the United Kingdom; to confer a power to impose and regulate a duty of customs by reference to the export of goods from the United Kingdom; to make other provision in relation to any duty of customs in connection with the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU; to amend the law relating to value added tax, and the law relating to any excise duty on goods, in connection with that withdrawal; and for connected purposes.

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This Bill is the Brexit Customs Bill. It will be given its First Reading ONLY following debate and approval of the relevant Ways and Means Resolutions on Monday (20th November).

Ways and Means Resolutions are used to approve parts of a Bill that will involve taxes and charges being made on the public.

In this case, there are two Ways and Means Resolutions :

(1) to provide for the charging of import and export duties, the administration and enforcement of these duties, and customs duties in connection with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU,

(2) to authorise the Bill to amend the law relating to VAT and excise duty on goods in connection with the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU. This resolution prevents certain provision being made in relation to zero-rates or reduced rates of VAT, or exemptions, refunds or new reliefs from VAT.

Both (1) and (2), if enacted, will authorise the making of statutory instruments and other provisions.

There is also a Money Resolution to authorise expenses which might be incurred by public bodies as a result of provision made by or under this Bill to be paid by Parliament, and deal with the destination of money received by public bodies (e.g. Licence fees).

In the view of HM Government, each of the Resolutions for this Bill (if passed) would authorise provision that extends and applies to the whole of the UK.

This post will be UPDATED with the Bill itself if the Resolutions are agreed. NB : updates on the post will NOT result in a new notification, so please go onto the Blog itself to check.

EU (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-2019 (Days 1 & 2)

UPDATE : UK Government fact sheets are here.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (EUW Bill – UK law) will repeal the instrument that puts EU law into UK domestic law (the UK European Communities Act 1972) and create a new class of UK domestic law termed ‘retained EU law‘.

Subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Law Checklists will see this new category appear in their Registers. First, the Brexit Law will be corralled into a single area accessed on the top right (Environment, and Occupational Health & Safety).

The EUW Bill is at the House of Commons Committee stage, an important stage when amendments are considered.

Day 1 of the considerations was yesterday. This considered amendments to Clause 1 and Clause 6 of the Bill.

Day 2 is today. This will consider Clauses 2, 3 and 4 (the EU retained law itself).

Clause 1 repeals the 1972 European Communities Act. No changes were agreed.

Clause 6 addresses the role of the Court of Justice of the European Union (often referred to as the European Court of Justice) after exit day. No changes were agreed.

UPDATE : Clauses 2, 3 and 4. No changes were agreed, Clause 4 was agreed.

Clause 6 (Interpretation of retained EU law) says :

6 Interpretation of retained EU law

A court or tribunal—

(a)  is not bound by any principles laid down, or any decisions made, on or after exit day by the European Court, and

(b) cannot refer any matter to the European Court on or after exit day.

A court or tribunal need not have regard to anything done on or after exit day by the European Court, another EU entity or the EU but may do so if it considers it appropriate to do so.

Any question as to the validity, meaning or effect of any retained EU law is to be decided, so far as that law is unmodified on or after exit day and so far as they are relevant to it –

(a) in accordance with any retained case law and any retained general principles of EU law, and

(b) having regard (among other things) to the limits, immediately before exit day, of EU competences.

But—

(a) Supreme Court is not bound by any retained EU case law,

(b)  the High Court of Justiciary is not bound by any retained EU case law

Etc

Brexit Bill Tracker (UK)

Brexit Bills

(1) EU (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-2019 – Commons Committee Stage (Full Commons Committee, commencing today) here

(2) Nuclear Safeguards Bill 2017-2019 – Commons Committee Stage (Public Bill Committee, commencing today) here

(3) Trade Bill 2017-2019 – Second Reading (date not announced) here

(4) Immigration Bill

(5) Customs Bill – White Paper here

(6) International Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill

(7) Agriculture Bill

(8) Fisheries Bill

(9) Withdrawal Agreement and Implementation Bill – DExEU announcement here

Brexit Consequent Bills

(1) Environmental Watchdog Bill – DEFRA announcement of consultation here

Subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers and Law Checklists will see their Link to Brexit Laws appearing shortly.

Trade Bill (UK)

Today the UK Government introduced the Trade Bill (at First Reading). The Trade Bill sets out measures that are required to build a future trade policy for the UK once it leaves the EU. These measures include:

(1) A power to ensure that the UK can implement any procurement obligations arising from the UK becoming a member of the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA) in its own right. The GPA is a plurilateral agreement within the international WTO framework. The UK is currently a member by virtue of its EU membership and will re-join as an independent member.

(2) Measures to implement agreements with partner countries corresponding to the EU’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and other trade agreements in place before the UK’s exit from the EU. The Trade Bill includes a power for the Government to implement any changes to domestic law which will be necessary for the UK to meet obligations flowing from these agreements.

(3) A new Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) to deliver the new UK trade remedies framework. This TRA will be enabled to provide advice, support and assistance to the Secretary of State in connection with the conduct of international disputes and other functions of the Secretary of State relating to trade and functions of the TRA. The TRA may also provide such advice, support and assistance to other organisations on its own initiative.

(4) Power for HMRC to collect data on behalf of the government to confirm the number of exporters of goods and services in the UK and to be able to identify those exporters for trade promotion purposes.

(5) Power to establish a data sharing gateway between HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and other public and private bodies, so that those bodies, including Department for International Trade (DIT), can discharge their public functions and access record-level data for research, monitoring and evaluation.

The Trade Bill 2017-2019 and Explanatory Notes are here

New Vehicle Emission Charges (London)

From Monday, the new T-Charge (Toxicity Charge) will apply in London’s congestion charge zone. This will apply to cars, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and heavy good vehicles. The daily T-Charge will be additional to the Congestion Charge. The T-Charge will end when the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is in force (April 2019). The ULEZ will operate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The ULEZ standards will be additional to the Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone requirements at that time. 

Further Information is here

Congestion Charge and T-Charge hours of operation : Monday – Friday, 07:00 – 18:00 – excludes Bank Holidays and the period between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day inclusive.

Vehicles included

Cars, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and HGVs, motorised caravans and horseboxes, breakdown and recovery vehicles, private ambulances, motor hearses, dual purpose vehicles and other specialist vehicle types that do not meet the minimum Euro emission standards are subject to the T-Charge. These standards are for cars – Euro 4 (see the further information link). 

Exemptions

Motorcycles, mopeds and scooters that are exempt from the Congestion Charge are also exempt from the T-Charge. 

Taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs) are exempt from paying the Congestion Charge and the T-Charge when actively licensed with TfL. The exemption for PHVs only applies to private hire bookings.

Other exemptions include : 

(1) Vehicles with a historic tax class (40 years and older) and/or commercial vehicles manufactured before 1973. These vehicles continue to be subject to the Congestion Charge

(2) Two-wheeled motorbikes (and sidecars) and mopeds that are exempt from the Congestion Charge

(3) Emergency service vehicles, such as ambulances and fire engines, which have a taxation class of ‘ambulance’ or ‘fire engine’ on the date of travel

(4) NHS vehicles exempt from vehicle excise duty, and Ministry of Defence vehicles

(5) Roadside recovery vehicles and accredited breakdown vehicles registered for a 100% discount from the Congestion Charge

(6) Specialist off-road vehicles such as tractors and mobile cranes (that are exempt from Low Emission Zone)

Motorised tricycles and quadricycles that are subject to the Congestion Charge are also affected. Motorcycles are not subject to the T-Charge.
9+ seater vehicles that are currently registered for a discount or are exempt from paying the charge will need to meet the required emissions standards or pay the T-Charge.

Nuclear Safety Standards (Euratom/EU)

I blog posted recently about the UK Nuclear Safeguards Bill (a UK Brexit Bill). This Bill does not cover radiation health rules (which are also regulated by EU/Euratom). 

The Euratom/European Union Basic Safety Standards Directive 2013 (BSSD) sets out updated safety requirements for the nuclear and radiological sector; the deadline for transposition of these into UK law is 6 February 2018

The BSSD 2013 updates the 1996 BSSD that is included in subscribers’ Cardinal Environment OHS Register 601. It simplifies existing Euratom provisions for protection against harmful effects of ionising radiation, and consolidates those provisions in line with the latest international standards.

The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is responsible for coordinating the transposition of the Directive across Government, there are five workstreams to the Directive: emergency preparedness and response, medical exposures, public exposures, occupational exposures, and air and space crew where compliance is necessary.

The emergency response and public exposures requirements of BSSD are led by BEIS and occupational exposure requirements are led by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

The intention is to use the powers in the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Energy Act 2012 to make the required legislative changes within the Radiation (Emergency Preparedness and Public Information) Regulations (REPPIR) 2001 and the Carriage of Dangerous Goods Regulations (CDG) 2009 and the Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999 (IRR99).

HSE has now consulted on occupational exposures policy and are finalising the proposed changes to the IRRs (this document is here); BEIS has launched a consultation on emergency preparedness and response policy with suggested changes to REPPIR & CDG (see here). BEIS is also planning to launch a consultation on the public exposures elements of the Directive.

The other workstreams are led by different Government departments, with medical exposures being led by the Department for Health and air and space crew by the Department for Transport.

Re Brexit : it is presumed these rules will be dealt with under the EU Withdrawal Bill (a key UK Brexit Bill), once it is enacted, since they are not dealt with under the Nuclear Safeguards Bill. 

Subscribers to Cardinal EHS Legislation Registers will see Email Alerts re the changes to the CDG and IRR99. 

Nuclear Safeguards Bill (UK)

The Nuclear Safeguards Bill was given its First Reading on 11th October, and its Second Reading (a debate stage) will take place on Monday. This Bill is found here

[please note, amendments could be made to this Bill, most notably to the way in which regulations will be enacted]

When enacted, it will :

(1) put in place the legal framework for a nuclear safeguards regime to operate in the UK. This domestic regime will replace the current legal framework provided principally by the UK’s membership of the European Atomic Energy Community (“Euratom”). Nuclear safeguards arrangements enable the UK to meet international nuclear safeguards standards and engage in certain international civil nuclear activities, including trade and research and development.

Nuclear safeguards primarily involve reporting and verification processes by which the UK demonstrates to the international community that civil nuclear material is not diverted into military or weapons programmes. Nuclear safeguard procedures can include accountancy and reporting on civil nuclear material holdings and development plans, verification (including inspections of nuclear facilities by international inspectors), containment measures and surveillance (including cameras in selected facilities). Nuclear safeguards are distinct from nuclear safety (the prevention of nuclear accidents) and nuclear security (physical protection measures), which are the subject of independent regulatory provisions.

(2) amend the Energy Act 2013 to replace the existing nuclear safeguards purposes of the Office of Nuclear Regulation (“ONR”). The ONR is the UK’s nuclear regulator. The ONR has five purposes which define its areas of responsibility and where it will be able to exercise functions. Currently, the nuclear safeguards purposes of the ONR is defined by reference to Euratom and existing agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency (“IAEA”) (which also depend on membership of Euratom). The new nuclear safeguards purposes of the ONR will require it to ensure compliance with regulations on nuclear safeguards made by the Secretary of State and to ensure compliance of the United Kingdom with international agreements relating to nuclear safeguards.

(3) provide powers to the Secretary of State to make nuclear safeguards regulations, which will set out the detail of the domestic regime for nuclear safeguards. The regulation‐making power can also be used to implement the new international agreements the United Kingdom envisages concluding (for example, with the IAEA).

(4) provide a regulation‐making power to the Secretary of State to amend certain legislation (including primary legislation) which make reference to parts of existing agreements on nuclear safeguards between the IAEA and the United Kingdom. These references will need to be updated when the existing agreements with the IAEA are replaced with new ones (which are currently being negotiated).

NOTE

Following its notification to the European Commission, the Government set out its intention to legislate to put in place a domestic safeguards regime operated by the existing nuclear regulator, the ONR. The ONR currently performs inspections on United Kingdom nuclear facilities for a range of purposes safety and security (and it has a complementary role supporting Euratom’s and the IAEA’s work in respect of nuclear safeguards).

The new domestic safeguards regime will replace the current regime operated by Euratom that will cease to have effect in the UK in 2019. The Queen’s Speech on 21 June 2017 included a Nuclear Safeguards Bill. 

The detail of the current European safeguards regime is set out in Commission Regulation (Euratom) No. 302/2005 of 8 February 2005 on the application of Euratom safeguards (“the Euratom Regulation”), made under the Euratom Treaty. The Euratom Regulation imposes the detailed technical requirements on those holding civil nuclear material and takes effect automatically in United Kingdom law by virtue of the European Communities Act 1972 (without specific domestic implementing legislation).

The Energy Act 2013 established the ONR as the United Kingdom’s independent nuclear regulatory body in 2014 (with certain functions having rested with the Health and Safety Executive). The Energy Act 2013 currently sets out the purposes of the ONR, which define the five areas of regulatory responsibility: those relating to nuclear safety, nuclear health and safety, nuclear security, nuclear safeguards, and transport of radioactive material. In addition to this section 74 of the Energy Act 2013 provides for the Secretary of State to make regulations (known as “nuclear regulations”) for four of the ONR’s purposes, including the nuclear safeguards purposes.

Under section 72 of the Energy Act 2013 the “nuclear safeguards purposes” means the purposes of (a) ensuring compliance by the United Kingdom with the safeguards obligations and (b) the development of any future safeguards obligations. “The safeguards obligations” is then defined by section 93(2) of the Energy Act 2013 by reference to the European Euratom system. 

As a result, the UK’s safeguards regime generally, and the ONR’s nuclear safeguards purposes specifically, are fundamentally underpinned by the United Kingdom’s membership of Euratom. Euratom is a party to the United Kingdom’s two main agreements with the IAEA (and many of the United Kingdom’s obligations to the IAEA are discharged by virtue of membership of Euratom). As such, the United Kingdom existing nuclear safeguards regime will become ineffective on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the Euratom Treaty.

This Bill confers a regulation‐making power which will enable the Secretary of State to put in place the detailed requirements that are necessary for a nuclear safeguards regime, including by imposing obligations on those who hold nuclear materials. The regulation‐making power can be used to implement the new international agreements the UK envisages concluding (for example, with the IAEA). The power can also be used to impose domestic standards.

The ONR’s nuclear safeguards purposes are amended to reflect the fact that the obligations it will be responsible for ensuring compliance with will be contained within domestic regulations and new international agreements (rather than the Euratom Regulation). The ONR, rather than the European Commission, will become the regulator.

The nature of safeguards regimes is such that the substantive provisions are detailed and technical in nature. This will be the case for the domestic safeguards regime put in place under the powers in the Bill. The majority of this detail will be laid out in regulations which will, on first use, be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. These regulations will place obligations on those responsible for “qualifying nuclear material”, “qualifying nuclear facilities” and “qualifying nuclear equipment”, including in respect of: record‐keeping and accounting, the provision of information, inspection and monitoring, imports and exports, the design of qualifying nuclear facilities or equipment and the production, processing, use, handling , storage or disposal of qualifying nuclear material or equipment.

In addition to the provisions of the Energy Act 2013 there are additional pieces of legislation (i.e. the Nuclear Safeguards and Electricity (Finance) Act 1978, the Nuclear Safeguards Act 2000 and the Nuclear Safeguards (Notification) Regulations 2004) that implement the United Kingdom’s existing nuclear safeguards obligations. These will not operate properly after the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from Euratom due to their detailed references to provisions of the United Kingdom’s existing nuclear safeguards agreements with the IAEA. The consequential amendments necessary to these pieces of legislation will depend on new safeguards agreements between the United Kingdom and the IAEA that are currently being negotiated; as such the United Kingdom will need to maintain flexibility to ensure these future agreements can be implemented in domestic legislation. A power to allow this legislation to be amended in this way is taken in clause 2 of the Bill.

MONEY

Establishing and operating the new regime by the ONR in line with the regulations that will be made under the powers in the Bill will require public expenditure. The costs to set up a UK domestic safeguards regime (which are not finalised) are potentially up to £10m. This would include procurement of a new IT system, recruitment and training of a large number of inspectors and strengthening institutional capacity to deliver the project. This cost can be met from within BEIS’s Spending Review allocations. The cost of any equipment currently in the UK but belonging to Euratom is a matter currently under negotiation with the European Union. The regime is also likely to involve an ongoing cost of around £10m a year, which is in line with the UK’s current cost of Euratom safeguards activity in the United Kingdom.

Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers contain the Euratom rules on radiation health impacts in OHS Register 601 – this Bill will be added the Brexit Law List that subscribers will begin to notice added to their systems shortly. Earlier Blog posts refer to this Cardinal Brexit Law List. 

UPDATE : see related Blog post in Nuclear Safety Standards (Euratom/EU)