Carcinogens (EU)

2019 saw the second and third revisions of the European Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive Annex III (the list of substances for which exposure limits apply) agreed. I blog posted about the changes a while back, check the category Chemicals.

Member states have until dates in 2021 to implement the revisions in national law.

Ireland has now updated its local law, and Email Alerts to subscribers with Ireland (ROI) systems will see details in their November & December Email Alert dispatching tomorrow. Law Checklists are also being updated.

Subscribers with other EU26 countries in their systems will see details in their next 6-month Email Alerts. Law Checklists are being updated now.

Subscribers with UK nations in their systems will see advisory details in their January 2020 Email Alerts dispatching at the end of January 2020. UK Law Checklists will be updated ONLY if UK national law is updated. Note : UK includes Northern Ireland.

Brexit : since these revisions were agreed before the Exit day, it is expected (but not confirmed) that they will be applied in UK national law. But as a Directive, the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive is not a Retained EU Law, and there are no Brexit Laws applicable.

Class Action in Consumer Protection (EU Law)

The Council of the EU today reached agreement on a draft directive on representative actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers.

The draft directive is here.

The directive empowers qualified entities, such as consumer organisations, to seek, in addition to injunctions, also redress measures, including compensation or replacement, on behalf of a group of consumers that has been harmed by a trader in violation of one of the EU legal acts set out in an annex to the directive. These legal acts reflect recent developments in the field of consumer protection and extend to areas such as financial services, travel and tourism, energy, telecommunications and data protection, in addition to general consumer law.

Member states shall, for the purpose of representative actions for redress, be free to choose between an opt-in and an opt-out system. In an opt-in system, consumers will be required to express their wish to be represented by the qualified entity for the purpose of a particular representative action. In an opt-out system, consumers who do not wish to be represented by the qualified entity for the purpose of a particular representative action will be required to make a statement to that effect.

Member states will have 30 months from the entry into force of the directive to transpose it into national law, as well as an additional 12 months to start applying these provisions.

The directive will apply to representative actions brought after the date of application.

On the basis of the agreed text, the Council will start negotiations with the European Parliament with a view to exploring the possibility of an agreement for the swift adoption of the directive at second reading (“early second reading agreement”).

Environment Bill (England & UK Brexit)

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

Today, the announced new Environment Bill was given its First Reading. This Bill encompasses the governance aspects already announced by the previous administration (Bill that lapsed) and covers a range of matters, including Waste and Air Quality.

The Policy Statement is here. The Bill generally extends to England only, but its provisions are intended to create a UK wide approach, and some provisions clearly directly extend to the UK (e.g. UK REACH, below) –

On UK REACH – the Environment Bill gives the Secretary of State the power to amend two pieces of legislation regulating the use of chemicals in the UK.

(1) The REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation regulates the manufacture, placing on the market and use of chemicals. This is a Retained EU Law.

(2) The REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008 set out how the requirements of the REACH Regulation are enforced. This is a domestic UK Law.

Both of these laws are amended by Brexit Law effective from Exit day. Subscribers will find them in the Brexit Consolidated Law List in EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists.

The Policy Statement asserts the powers will enable the Secretary of State to take further steps where necessary to ensure a smooth transition to a UK chemicals regime following the UK’s exit from the EU.

The Policy Statement asserts it will also make it possible to keep the legislation up to date and respond to emerging needs or ambitions for the effective management of chemicals.

The Bill text is not yet public. I will issue further Blog posts once the text is public.

F-gases Rules (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October 2019

F-gases are regulated by EU Law.

DEFRA issued today clarifying rules on F-gases.

(1) Recovering, reclaiming and recycling F gas – here.

(2) Recording F gas in equipment you own or service – here.

IF these have an impact on ENV Law Checklists, then the Checklists will be updated, and subscribers to EHS Legislation Registers and Checklists will be notified in the next Email Alert.

Subscribers will note that the Brexit Consolidated Law List (found at the top right of the ENV and OHS Registers home page) has F-gases laws identified as HTML Done (green text) (meaning the changes are now incorporated, and linked from that list).

F-gases and ODS (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October.

HMG has today updated its instructions for those persons who use or trade in F-gases or ODS.

Here.

Brexit Law is issued in this area, and Cardinal has already consolidated this into base law and supplied it to subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists.

Defence Sector (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October.

Today, HMG republished instructions (dated 23rd May) for companies in the Defence Sector – here.

Linked are instructions (published 1st February, updated 14th March) for companies in the Aerospace Sector – here.

A few things to point out –

(1) Companies must continue right to work checks on all EU/EEA and Swiss citizens, by using their passport or national identity card, until January 2021.

(2) EU/EEA and Swiss citizens who were resident in the UK before or after the UK leaves the EU, do not need to be distinguished.

(3) EU/EEA and Swiss citizens who are resident in the UK before Exit day will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to get settled or pre-settled status. EU/EEA and Swiss citizens must apply by 31 December 2020 (if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, which is now the most likely).

(4) EU, EEA and Swiss citizens arriving in the UK from Exit Day to 31 December 2020 can continue to come to the UK, but if they want to stay for longer than 3 months, they must obtain European Temporary Leave to Remain (NOTE : instructions are not updated since February – here).

(5) Irish citizens can continue to work in the UK under the Common Travel Area arrangement.

The Defence Sector document gives important instructions on certifications, chemical registrations, and goods conformity assessment. Please read these, and take appropriate steps.

None of this is new.