Withdrawal Agreement Bill (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October – Thursday week (this date is in a Statutory Instrument)

Yesterday the government published the EU (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – here.

There are additional documents also published, including Explanatory Notes – here.

The Bill (known as the WAB) is 115 pages, with 40 clauses and 6 schedules. It’s purpose is to give effect in domestic law to the Withdrawal Agreement that was agreed between the EU and the UK on 17th October, and to ratify that Withdrawal Agreement.

– The Bill amends the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 (a core existing Brexit Law) to ensure it reflects the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. Re Brexit Law, the Bill saves the Brexit Law for the end of the transition period (in the Bill this is the IP (Implementation Period) completion day).

– The Bill creates powers to make secondary legislation (Statutory Instruments), where appropriate, to enable the Withdrawal Agreement to be implemented domestically.

– The Bill includes amendments to the Northern Ireland Act 1998 in relation to rights, safeguards and equality of opportunity protections contained in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement 1998.

– The Bill includes provision relating to facilitating access for Northern Ireland goods to the market in Great Britain, as well as further provision to ensure no alteration to the arrangements for North South cooperation can occur as a result of this Bill.

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the exit terms, covering the transition period, the monies to be paid to the EU, citizen rights, the Ireland-Northern Ireland specific arrangements, and other matters.

The Bill gives effect to these exit terms.

The timetabling of UK Parliament debate on this Bill will be voted on this morning.

The government has already signaled that all of this week will be taken up with this Bill, leaving the further debate on the Queen’s Speech and the Environment Bill Second Reading for later dates (unspecified).

Please look out for further Blog posts on this matter.

Medical Devices Notified Bodies (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this date is in a Statutory Instrument)

Yesterday (8th October) the MHRA updated its instructions on Notified Bodies.

Here

This link updates on notified bodies: UL International (UK) Ltd address, contact details and EC link updated, BSI Healthcare EC link added, SGS named contact updated and LRQA was removed from the list.

The link also has the published guidance on how medical devices will be regulated.

UK Temporary Import Tariff Regime (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this date is in a Statutory Instrument)

Today (8th October) the UK republished it’s temporary Import Tariff Regime that will apply in a no-deal Brexit.

Here

[this Blog does not focus on Customs or VAT]

It is mostly unchanged from the March version. Three aspects have changes – affecting HGVs, bioethanol and clothing –

• lower tariffs on HGVs entering the UK market, striking a better balance between the needs of British producers and the SMEs that make up the UK haulage industry, ensuring that crucial fleet replacement programmes that help to lower carbon emissions can continue

• adjusted tariffs on bioethanol to retain support for UK producers, as the supply of this fuel is important to critical national infrastructure

• tariffs applied to additional clothing products to ensure the preferential access to the UK market currently available to developing countries (compared to other countries) is maintained.

Moving Goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this date is in a Statutory instrument)

[this Blog does not focus on Customs or VAT, this post is made only because the changes are substantive]

Today HMRC updated (in a major way) and reissued its guidance on customs procedures applying in Northern Ireland.

Here

Goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland will face different procedures compared to other UK-EU trade.

You will not need to:

• get a customs agent or an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number

• pay Customs Duty or make import or export declarations to HMRC

You should also consider advice issued by the Irish government about their requirements for goods moving into or out of Ireland.

This was the case in the March instructions (see Blog post then).

What is added is information about moving controlled and licensed goods, transitional simplified procedures and moving goods under transit.

HMRC also issued updated instructions on excise duty applying to exports to Ireland and imports from Ireland.

Export – here.

Import – here.

Customs and VAT processes in Northern Ireland will also change if there is an orderly exit. I will be issuing further Blog posts.

Orderly Exit? (UK Exit)

Exit day is 31st October 2019 (this date is in a Statutory Instrument)

Reports this morning (and last night) identify the UK state will make a new proposal to the EU for an orderly exit (termed “Deal” in common parlance).

In the event that this proposal is accepted, in full or with agreed changes, then an orderly exit would result on Exit day, under the terms of a new UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement (that was ratified by both the UK and the EU Parliaments and all Member States).

If this occurs, then there would be a new Withdrawal and Implementation Bill or Withdrawal Agreement Bill in the UK. In the last round, only a White Paper was published (2018).

This Withdrawal Agreement Bill, if enacted, would change the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and delay the action of the Brexit Law on the UK statute book.

The UK would Exit on Exit day, but the effect of the Brexit Law would be delayed.

Some Brexit Law (amended) would take effect on Exit day, and some Brexit Law (amended) would take effect at the end of 2020.

In some topics, and in some geographical regions, UK and EU Law would remain aligned until the end of 2020 (and in some cases to 2025).

Please expect to see further Blog posts.

UKCA Mark (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this is the date in a Statutory Instrument)

Please remember the UK is bringing in a new UKCA Mark, applicable after Exit day.

The Feb issued instructions on UKCA Mark are here.

This applies to certified goods sold in the UK.

Please follow the links carefully, as some goods will require the UKCA Mark immediately after Exit day.

Other goods will be able to continue with the CE Mark for a limited period.

Manufactured Goods (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this is the date in a Statutory Instrument)

Yesterday (10th Sept) HMG re-published its instructions on Manufactured Goods.

Here

I did Blog post these instructions in March, note the UKCA mark. The UKCA mark is not available yet. CE marks will continue for a temporary period.

The Sept publication has an update reminder that Distributors will be Importers.

By now, everyone should be Brexit Ready.

The specific text re Importers – (note the EEA and Switzerland reference)

If you are currently a UK distributor, you need to confirm whether you or your supplier will become an ‘importer’ once the UK leaves the EU. This will usually be the case if you are the one bringing goods into the UK from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, and want to put them on the UK market after Brexit.

If you are becoming an ‘importer’ you will need to ensure you understand your legal obligations. You will need to make sure:

• goods are labelled with your company’s details, including your company’s name and a contact address (for 18 months after Brexit you can provide these details on the accompanying documentation rather than on the good itself)

• the correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and that any good you import carries the correct conformity markings

• the manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation and complied with their labelling requirements

• you maintain a copy of the declaration of conformity for a period of 10 years

• you do not place a good you import on the market if you have reason to believe it does not conform with the relevant essential requirements