Export Health Certificates (NI Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this date is set out in a statutory instrument)

An Export Health Certificate (EHC) is an official document that confirms a food or animal export meets the health and quality requirements of the importing country.

The EHC has to be signed by a vet or other qualified person in the exporting country after they have inspected the goods.

Food products being imported into the EU from a non-member state require EHCs.

They’re signed by vets to assure the importing country that produce is safe and without them trade can’t happen.

Around 18,000 of them a year are currently produced in Northern Ireland mostly to cover the trade in live animals to Britain.

This Blog does not cover animal or food trade, but many have asked me questions on this matter, and so here is my Blog post.

Various persons raise the issue of scarcity of vets and EHC costs, in Northern Ireland. It is possible the UK could cut a deal that would see it follow the EU’s rules for a period after Brexit, allowing trade to continue while a permanent arrangement was worked out. But this would not get around the need for a huge number of trade certificates, in any event.

DAERA (the relevant NI agency) says it is recruiting new staff and retraining existing ones to cope with the new trading arrangements.

“While we anticipate that current trade will adjust, it is difficult to gauge demand for certification as businesses may not make decisions until post Brexit. We are currently assessing the resources available and how we will prioritise based on the potential scale of the demands.”

It is encouraging businesses to sign up to advice workshops it’s beginning to run from next week.

Exit day changes (update) (UK Brexit)

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

This post updates a post I wrote a few days ago, of similar title.

Today, the House of Lords agreed (without amendment) the Bill – the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill 2019 – brought by persons other than the Government of Johnson-DUP. This Bill now gains Royal Assent by a matter of course.

The Act (therefore duly enacted) will oblige the Prime Minister to seek to extend the Exit day to 31st January 2020 by letter in the form set out in the Schedule (and to accept immediately any EU agreement to extension – and to accept any other EU proposed extension in two days unless the House of Commons rejects it) –

unless by 19th October Parliament consents to Exit without a deal or it agrees to a new deal with the EU.

The Act will also oblige the Government to make regular reports to Parliament on the progress of negotiations with the EU.

The bill was amended in committee in the House of Commons. The amendment added a statement to the bill setting out that the intention of the request for an extension to article 50 would be to pass a withdrawal agreement bill.

This, however, does not create a legal duty to pass a withdrawal agreement bill.

The Johnson-DUP administration already has Crown powers (available to it) to suspend Parliament during dates in September and October. It is expected to suspend Parliament on Monday, after a second request of Opposition Parties to dissolve Parliament so that a General Election may be held. Opposition Parties this morning agreed to oppose the Johnson-DUP administration in this request.

The Prime Minister said today that he would not extend the Exit day. The EU appears to signal that it could regard enactment of the Act as a legal request, even if it’s not made by the Prime Minister.

It is also possible a deal is agreed with the EU that is accepted by Parliament, by the 19th October, but this looks remote.

I will next issue a Blog post on the matter of Exit day changes in mid October, on the assumption that (1) Parliament is not dissolved to hold a General Election, and (2) Parliament is suspended until then.

Travelling to the UK (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October 2019

(or it may be the later date of 31st January 2020 – I will put a separate post if/when the Exit day changes to 31st January 2020)

Announced yesterday (4th September) by the UK Home Office – confirmation of return of the International Border – here

* no blue EU customs channel at ports/airports

* all travellers to UK must declare to customs (by choosing the red or green channel)

* blue UK passports in 2019 (passport renewals)

* no right to permanent residence for EU arrivals (this will be by Statutory Instrument)

* visitors and travellers for short trips will be let in

* stays beyond 3 months must be covered by successful applications to online Euro TLR (these can be made whilst in UK, and up to 31st December 2020)

* Euro TLR will permit one 3-yr stay only

* Euro TLR will permit work and property rental

* Employers not obliged to distinguish between Settled Status and Euro TLR workers until Jan 2021 (when new points-based Immigration system introduced)

* Foreigners owning UK property is unaffected (I believe – the announcement is silent) – but note the visitation restriction

EU arrivals after Exit day (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October 2019

(by statutory instrument, not the commencement order recently signed)

The Home Office today confirmed an entirely new system is being developed for EU arrivals after Exit day, and the European Temporary Leave to Remain (announced in January 2019) is not being progressed.

Here.

Although this Blog does not post on immigration, I will post when details of the new system are announced.

Any questions on this should be addressed to the UK Home Office.

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.

Carbon Emissions Tax (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October.

I previously posted that a Carbon Emissions Tax was being considered, then it seemed it would not go ahead. Today 29 July, the Government issued updated guidance giving 4th November as the start of the Carbon Emissions Tax (in the event of no-deal). The Carbon Emissions Tax is already provided for by Part 3 of the Finance Act 2019.

Part 3 (if not already added to Subscribers EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists) will be added shortly, to the Brexit Law List, as part of the Brexit Law consolidation that is a work in progress.

The relevant Guidance section states : the updated Guidance is here (please read other parts also)

Carbon pricing

As set out at Budget 2018, if the UK leaves the EU in a no deal scenario, the UK government would introduce a Carbon Emissions Tax to help meet the UK’s legally binding carbon reduction commitments under the Climate Change Act.

In this scenario, for 2019 a rate of £16 would be applied to each tonne of carbon dioxide emitted over and above an installation’s emissions allowance. For permit holders outside the simplified reporting scheme this allowance would be based on the allocation of free EUAs that would have been allocated to installations under Phase III of the EU ETS. For those currently covered by the simplified reporting arrangements, the allowance would be based on their current emissions target. The rate for years beyond 2019 would be set at future fiscal events.

The tax would apply from 4 November 2019 to all UK stationary installations currently participating in the EU ETS. The aviation sector would not be subject to the Carbon Emissions Tax. Aviation operators would still be obliged to comply with greenhouse gas Monitoring Reporting and Verification requirements throughout 2019.

UK Brexit Guidance Update (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October.

Yesterday (18th July) HMG updated the guidance it had issued before the first exit day, to apprentice providers and persons operating further education collages – here.

[it also updated the guidance for schools]

This Blog does not cover employment law, or immigration law.

The Guidance is useful in that it summarises a range of matters, from travel and visas, to food supplies, and the situation for employing people after Brexit.

Please note there is no update to the (February issued) European temporary leave to remain instruction – here.

per the European temporary leave to remain instruction – EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who are granted European temporary leave to remain will be able to stay in the UK for 36 months from the date it is granted. European temporary leave to remain will be a temporary, non-extendable immigration status. It will not give indefinite leave to remain (ILR), lead to status under the EU Settlement Scheme or make EU, EEA and Swiss citizens eligible to stay in the UK indefinitely.

If EU, EEA and Swiss citizens want to stay in the UK for more than 36 months, they will need to apply for an immigration status under the new immigration system, which will come into effect from 1 January 2021. Those who do not qualify will need to leave the UK when their European temporary leave to remain expires.

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who enters the UK before the UK leaves the EU, you’re eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK. EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their families will be able to remain in the UK indefinitely if they are granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who arrives in the UK after the UK leaves the EU but were previously living in the UK before Brexit, you can also apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Irish citizens are excluded from the aboveIrish citizens will not need to apply for European temporary leave to remain. They’ll continue to have the right to enter and live in the UK under Common Travel Area arrangements.

Food Supplies (per the guidance to apprentice providers, and it’s also in the schools document – similar guidance is in the instructions for hospitals and care homes)

The government has been working to plan arrangements that ensure goods can continue to flow into the UK without significant delays from additional controls and checks. We are continuously engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to support industry preparedness. However, the government does not have control over the checks imposed by EU Member States at the EU side of the border.

The government, including the Department for Education, will continue to work with food suppliers to prepare for a no deal departure from the EU. Colleges have significant flexibilities in terms of how they provide food for students that are eligible for free meals.

We advise that you contact your food supplier(s) if your college procures food directly to ensure they are planning for potential impacts of a no deal scenario. For example, this may include plans to adapt menus to allow for product substitution.

This would also include seeking reassurance on the ability of suppliers to continue to provide nutritious meals and to accommodate special dietary needs and allergens when introducing any substitute products.