UK exits the EU (animal health certificates of competence)

I posted earlier on ECHA advice to UK companies, and European Commission Notices to UK Operators.

Animal health has been debated in UK Parliament as part of its consideration of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19. Following this debate, DEFRA has issued a statement about Animal Health. This statement is here.

[A] The European Commission has issued a Notice to slaughterhouse operators holding a certificate of competence relevant to exports to the European Union. This notice is here.

(1) Certificates of competence delivered in the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the European Union from the moment the United Kingdom becomes a third country (exit date).

(2) Slaughterhouse operators shall ensure that some operations are only carried out by persons holding a certificate of competence (exports to the European Union). This requirement also applies to animal welfare officers (vets) who are working in a slaughterhouse (exports to the European Union).

[B] The European Commission has issued a Notice to transporters of live animals to the European Union. This notice is here.

(1) Transporter authorisations granted by the competent authorities of the United Kingdom pursuant to Articles 10 or 11 of the Regulation will no longer be valid in the European Union from the moment the United Kingdom becomes a third country (exit date).

(2) Certificates of approval of means of transport, and of drivers and attendants granted by the competent authorities of the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the European Union from the moment the United Kingdom becomes a third country (exit date).

These two notices are located here.

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.

—–

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

DEFRA update (UK)

On 1st November, DEFRA Secretary Michael Gove appeared before the UK Environmental Audit Committee hearing (having first appeared before the Lords EU Committee). The recording is here.

(1) Consultation for a new Environmental Regulator would likely take place ahead of the UK’s departure in March 2019.

“The need for a body or bodies has been clearly identified… as a need to safeguard the environment.”

“Outside the EU, the question is what replaces the Commission. How do we have the ECJ’s role replicated? I think that this is an absolutely important question, and my thinking is that we should consult on what type of body would be appropriate to replace the role that the Commission and Court have played.”

“It’s right that… we ensure there is a right balance between ensuring people continue to have recourse to the court through judicial review, but also recognise that you might need an agency, body or commission that has the power to potentially fine or otherwise hold government and public bodies to account.”

“We could have a system in that UK that is stronger and more effective than the EU’s because the Government could be held to account in a way that the EU itself currently cannot.”

(2) Re : DEFRA 25-yr Plan – Defra had initially planned frameworks for two separate 25-year environment and food & farming plans, but there would now be only one document published, which would be released either before Christmas or, at latest, in January 2018. The document would feature new policies in key areas such as recycling and biodiversity. 

The plan could see the UK Government step up its voluntary approach on food waste targets (NB Scotland and NI have specific food waste producer obligations, and Wales prohibits down the drawn disposal of food waste). 

“I am very keen that we should try to reduce food waste at every stage in the cycle”

“Having an ambitious target to reduce avoidable waste is an incredibly useful tool and discipline.”

The plan, which will be open for consultation, would be followed by a command paper on the future shape of agriculture, as a prelude to the agricultural bill expected in early Spring.

(3) Re : China’s ban on 24 grades of waste material imports, due to come into force in January [UK exports around 4.5 million tonnes of waste to China for recycling or recovery.]

“I don’t know what impact it will have.”

“It is a very good question and something to which I’ll be completely honest I have not given sufficient thought.”

UK exits the EU (EU ETS)

Background 

The EU ETS is the European Union Emissions Trading System (carbon). Large polluters such as power companies and industrial firms are obliged to pay for their carbon dioxide emissions by buying carbon permits called EU Allowances. Britain is the EU’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases and its utilities are among the largest buyers of carbon permits. 

Article 19(1) of European Directive 2003/87/EC requires that all emission allowances issued from 1 January 2012 onwards must be held in a central Union Registry on accounts managed by the European Union Member States.

The EU system of emission allowances registries has been operational since January 2005 and provides a standardised and secure system of electronic registries which tracks the issuance, holding, transfer and cancellation of all allowances issued under the EU ETS. Initially each EU Member State had its own emissions alllowances registry. In 2012, these registries were replaced by the single Union Registry, which provides a harmonized basis to transfer allowances across the EU.

This single registry is operated and maintained by the European Commission, and national registry administrators in all 31 countries participating in the EU ETS remain the point of contact for the representatives of more than 20,000 accounts (companies or physical persons). 31 countries participate, a few more than the EU28. 

Also the allocation processes in phase 3 of the EU ETS are performed centrally in the Union Registry, both for the allocation of allowances to stationary and aircraft operators for free and for the auctioning of allowances through the common and two ‘opt-out’ auction platforms.

The legal instrument providing specific rules on the Union Registry is the Commission Regulation (EU) No 389/2013. This Regulation applies to allowances created for the EU ETS third trading period commencing on 1 January 2013 as well as for subsequent periods, annual emission allocation units and Kyoto units. It also applies to aviation allowances to be auctioned that were created for the trading period from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012.

Change

Known as the EU ETS Registry Regulation, Commission Regulation (EU) No 389/2013 will be amended (by EU Regulation) to Brexit safeguard the EU ETS system during the third trading period (2013-2020). The change was agreed by the European Parliament in October, and Reuters reports yesterday it is now agreed by EU Member States. The proposal document is here

The change will provide for marking and restricting the use of allowances issued by the United Kingdom as of 1 January 2018. The proposal is that marking should distinguish United Kingdom issued allowances from other allowances. The marked allowances would then no longer be able to be surrendered in order to meet compliance obligations under the EU ETS. In essence, any carbon permits (EU allowances) issued by the UK will be void from 1 January 2018

The proposed measures apply to the auctioning of ETS allowances, the issue of free allocation by the United Kingdom and the exchange of international credits for allowances, as of 1 January 2018.

A European Commission FAQ document is issued, here