General Data Protection Regulation (EU)

The General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679) is here. Article 5 sets out the principles.

This GDPR applies from 25th May 2018 and overrides national law (although in some instances new national law may additionally be brought in).

[Brexit : the GDPR applies in the UK from 25th May 2018 – after Brexit, the GDPR will apply in the UK via the EU (Withdrawal) Bill – see separate Blog post – the EU (Withdrawal) Bill is not yet enacted]

[UK : separately (and not to be confused) a new UK Data Protection Bill is almost enacted – see Explanatory Notes here]

The general data protection regulation (GDPR) is part of the EU data protection reform package.

Features

• a single set of EU-wide rules — it repeals the pre-existing European Directive 95/46/EC;

• a data protection officer, responsible for data protection, must be designated by public authorities and by businesses which process data on a large scale;

• one-stop-shop — businesses will deal with one single supervisory authority (in the EU country in which they are mainly based);

• EU rules for non-EU companies — companies based outside the EU must apply the same rules when offering services or goods, or monitoring the behaviour of individuals, within the EU;

• privacy-friendly techniques must be used, such as pseudonymisation (when identifying fields within a data record are replaced by one or more artificial identifiers) and encryption (when data is coded in such a way that only authorised parties can read it);

• removal of notifications — the new data protection rules will scrap most notification obligations and the costs associated with these, one of the aims of the data protection regulation is to remove obstacles to free flow of personal data within the EU;

• impact assessments — businesses must carry out impact assessments when data processing may result in a high risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals;

• record-keeping — SMEs are not required to keep records of processing activities, unless the processing is regular or likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of the person whose data is being processed.

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The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has a useful updated guide in English here.

ICO guidance for small organisations is here.

UK exits the EU (more EU Notices)

The European Commission has published four further EU Notices to Stakeholders and Companies. I posted earlier with the website where all such EU Commission Notices are compiled. Here it is again – Link.

Please remember the EU agencies are also publishing Notices. I posted earlier about this. Here is the ECHA support available – Link.

UK-EU Withdrawal Treaty (draft)

UPDATE (19th March) : an updated colour coded Withdrawal Treaty draft is published here. This contains the results of the EU-UK discussions held 16-19 March. The next step is the Council of the EU heads of Member States meeting 22/23 March, where it is anticipated a further statement will be made. I will summarise the agreed points at that time.

Please note : at this point 25% of the document is not agreed between the EU-UK. The areas not agreed relate to governance and the Irish Border.

UPDATE (15th March) : an updated Withdrawal Treaty draft (123 pages) is published here. This has now been sent to the UK authorities for the negotiation.

The EU Commission has now published its draft of the UK-EU Withdrawal Treaty – it is here.

It will now be discussed over the coming weeks with the European Council (Article 50) and the Brexit Steering Group of the European Parliament before transmission to the UK authorities for negotiation.

As expected, this is a complex and lengthy document, with Annexes and Protocols that form part of the Treaty draft. Part 4 sets out the clauses relating to the Transition Period (I Blog posted separately about the Transition Period clauses).

I will update this Blog post here with summary points, as they become agreed with the UK authorities. Please remember to refer back to this Blog and not wait for posts in your inbox, as updates on a particular post are not reissued as emails.

UK exits the EU (EU Notices – UK questions for UK DEFRA)

Two days ago 21st Feb the UK Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee (select committee) wrote to the UK DEFRA Secretary of State. This letter is here. The letter asks Michael Gove to seek the UK Government’s view on the EU Commission’s advice to environment and food stakeholders on preparing for a ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.

Background

The European Commission is publishing a series of Notices setting out the consequences for trading and legal arrangements in the event that no Brexit deal is reached by 30 March 2019. I have blog posted about this and in addition to the EU Commission with its website of Notices, European Agencies such as ECHA (the European Chemicals Agency) are also issuing notices – please see my earlier Blog posts. NB: the EU Notices state unless a different date is set out and agreed in the Withdrawal Treaty, the UK is a Third Country from 30 March 2019 (and the consequences set out in the Notices, summarised below, will apply from that date).

Many are addressed to stakeholders across the food, farming and waste sectors. They state (in summary) that a variety of certifications issued by the UK will no longer be valid, that certain organisations will need an EU base or representative to continue to operate in the EU, and that some food trade exports will be prohibited unless certain steps are taken. Note also the impacts on transboundary waste movement (see an earlier Blog post of mine).

The Committee letter writes to Defra’s Secretary of State to ask:

* Whether the Government is seeking to get UK environment and food certifications recognised by the EU

* What assessment the Government has made of the impact on individuals, organisations and the UK economy of UK environment and food certification no longer being recognised, and of reapplying for certification

* What steps the Government is taking to ensure food of animal origin can be exported to the EU in a ‘no deal’ scenario

* Whether the Government intends to provide similar advice to its own citizens working in the food, farming and waste sectors.

Project Ireland 2040 (Ireland)

(Today) 16th February 2018 Ireland published the results of its Project Ireland 2040 process, that seeks to plan for regional development and an additional one million additional residents. Project Ireland 2040 is here.

It consists of two plans.

A National Planning Framework (NPF) will decide how to achieve balanced regional development. It will prioritise growth in the major cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford (Dublin is forecast to grow at a slower rate). This NPF is here.

The second strand is the National Development Plan (NDP), a 10-year, €115 billion programme to upgrade State infrastructure in anticipation of the population increase.

The Irish Times (newspaper) summaries here.

Ireland Government Brexit Update (Ireland)

The Irish Government issues (today) 16th February 2018 its first Government Brexit Update. This is here.

In this Update (Issue No 1), the Irish Government identifies its Brexit Priorities, latest Government Brexit Engagements, the launch of a new Government Brexit website, and various other initiatives and preparations underway.

The Ireland Government Brexit website is here.

[please note this Ireland post is categorised Brexit – UK Brexit posts are differently categorised in Referendum Outcome (UK)]

Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill 2017-19 (UK)

I posted earlier about the EU Brexit Notice on haulage, which gave notice that UK vehicle registrations and driving licences would not be valid in the EU after 00:00 30 March 2019 (subject to any transition period or Trade Deal).

The UK Haulage Permits and Trailer Registration Bill is a new UK Brexit Bill (not signalled in the Queens Speech) that had its First Reading in the House of Lords on 7th February 2018. The Bill is here. The Explanatory Notes are here.

The UK has now decided, irrespective, it will ratify the international 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (which it had not ratified hitherto).

The Bill provides the UK Secretary of State with the powers to introduce administrative systems for haulage permits, which may be needed once the UK has left the EU, and a trailer registration scheme, which will be required following the UK’s ratification of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic.

The Secretary of State will be able to make regulations prohibiting the use of a goods vehicle registered in the UK on an international journey specified in the regulations without a permit, where such permits are provided for in an international agreement. The regulations will also set out the administrative procedures for the allocation and granting of permits, including the number of permits available, the application process, the criteria to be taken into account in determining the issue of permits, and provisions for cancelling permits. Regulations will also allow the Secretary of State to establish an appeals process for the cancellation of a permit. The Bill sets out enforcement provisions, including powers for examiners to require the production of permits and offences for breaching regulations or failing to produce a permit for inspection. The Bill also includes a power to charge fees for the application for, and the issue of, a permit.

The Bill also makes provision for the Secretary of State to establish a trailer registration scheme, in view of the provisions of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, to ensure that trailers can be registered before entering international traffic. The scope of the scheme will be set out in regulations made under Part 2. Mandatory registration will apply only to commercial trailers (in practice almost exclusively HGV trailers) and the largest non-commercial trailers that enter international traffic. Smaller, common non-commercial trailers, such as caravans and horse trailers, may be registered by their keepers if they wish.

Again, registration is a necessary pre-cursor to travel abroad. The UK will ratify the 1968 Convention in order to support UK vehicle transport abroad. Where the outcome of negotiations with the EU mean that existing EU Licence arrangements will no longer apply after the UK’s exit from the EU, the Bill provides the Secretary of State with the powers to set up and enforce any alternative arrangements that may be agreed internationally, enabling the continued movement of goods to and from the EU by UK hauliers. A consequence of ratification is that unregistered trailers could be turned away at the borders of other countries who have ratified the 1968 Convention. Therefore, for operational reasons, a trailer registration scheme needs to be implemented.

The Bill (once enacted) will repeal the International Road Haulage Permits Act 1975 and make new provisions. It will also amend other legislation such as the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994, the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995 and the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001, and makes consequential amendments to legislation in Northern Ireland.

Please read the linked explanatory notes carefully. I will Blog post separately when the UK creates the Convention ratifying instrument.