Chemicals Regulation – CLP (Brexit UK)

The UK has today updated its Technical Notice on CLP, and this now gives further instructions, here.

If there is no deal :

(1) The UK would establish an independent standalone chemicals regime. [this is looking increasingly likely in any event, deal or no deal]

(2) At the time of exit, as the UK would effectively adopt the GHS in the same way as the EU, the UK classification and labelling regime would be based on the existing EU regulatory regime in order to provide continuity for businesses, with amendments to enable functions presently carried out by the EU (including those performed by ECHA), instead being carried out in the UK by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

(3) Companies operating in the UK will deal with HSE in place of ECHA.

(4) The main duties and obligations on suppliers to classify, label and package hazardous chemicals placed on the market will remain in place.

This means the duties on UK manufacturers, importers and downstream users to classify, label and package the substances and mixtures they place on the UK market will remain.

This would also be the case for the obligations on those suppliers to identify, examine and evaluate available scientific and information on substances and mixtures where it relates to the possible physical, health or environmental hazardous properties of those chemicals to ensure all the requirements of classification are fulfilled.

Suppliers must also comply with mandatory classification and labelling.

[please note, it’s still unclear if current downstream user obligations under REACH will be continue, I posted about this the other day]

(5) Companies importing chemicals into the UK from EU countries would become importers under CLP and would need to be sufficiently competent to comply with the duties and obligations on an importer, just as they would if importing chemicals into the UK from a non-EU country.

(6) HSE would have the ability to put in place new arrangements for mandatory classification and labelling. These arrangements would allow new and revised classification and labelling to be proposed, considered in liaison with the devolved authorities and adopted for the UK.

(7) Companies would be required to use new UK arrangements and IT tools provided by HSE. These IT tools would be a UK mandatory classification and labelling list (of substances) and a UK notification database. The new arrangements will be operational after 29 March 2019.

(8) Responsibility for chemicals being imported into the EU from the UK would rest with whoever is the EU-based importer (remember, a third country importing into the EU will require the use of an EU-based legal entity) – the importer may therefore need details of the chemicals involved from the UK-based company.

EU Council – EU27 Leaders 13-14 Dec (EU)

[clarification – the EU Council is a full EU28 council, consideration of Brexit is EU27]

The European Council (of EU27 leaders) commencing today (13-14 December 2018) will focus on the EU’s long-term budget, the EU single market, migration and external relations. EU27 leaders will also discuss Brexit today and the euro area tomorrow.

In his letter of invitation, President Donald Tusk said –

“Given the seriousness of the situation in the UK, let me start with Brexit. The intention is that we will listen to the UK Prime Minister’s assessment, and later, we will meet at 27 to discuss the matter and adopt relevant conclusions. As time is running out, we will also discuss the state of preparations for a no-deal scenario.”

The EU began issuing Brexit Preparedness Notices in 2017, and in 2018 it also issued Contingency Planning documents (I posted these at the time). It is essential to have read these documents, and the information presented in all places, in full. Once again, the information is here (please look in all places on this site).

France already enacted a local Brexit contingency law (I posted about this), Germany has now draft local Brexit contingency laws published on relevant Ministry websites, Ireland has signalled it is stepping up local No Deal contingency measures. It is essential to follow local contingency measures, where relevant, these will be additional to the EU measures. Further measures and instructions at EU level may be forthcoming, also.

The UK has more than a hundred Technical Notices, and HMRC, the Department for Transport, and the Department of Health & Social Care have each issued further instructions, and further can be expected. Please check this blog for the links (category Brexit, EU Brexit Notices and new category UK Brexit Notices).

In addition, bi-laterals are in place in some areas that will create variations to the above, these should be set out in the local Instructions, if not now, shortly. The best approach is to read the EU information and then check locally. If in the UK (or dealing with the UK) then also read the UK information.

Unless the date is pushed back (unlikely) or Brexit does not occur at all (unlikely), the UK is a Third Country from 12pm CET 29 March 2019, and the rules of engagement change. The biggest effect is on the UK statute book, and subscribers to Cardinal Environment EHS Legislation Registers & Checklists now have a constantly updating Brexit Law List (of changes to the UK global ENV and OHS legislation).

However, activities in all EU27 member states will be affected to some extent, and the rules for engaging with the UK will alter.

Please continue to follow this Blog. In addition, although based in London, UK, I am now regularly in Ireland, and it’s possible to meet with me there.

Customs Transit Procedures (Brexit UK)

The Customs Transit Procedures (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (SI 1258) are enacted. These will come into force when separately determined by Treasury Regulations (not enacted yet), these separate Treasury regulations will be made under the (Brexit) Taxation (Cross-border) Trade Act 2018. The Regulations are here.

These Regulations make provision for the international movements of goods, with import duty suspended, under the internationally recognised common transit procedure and TIR Carnet system, with provision for such movements within the United Kingdom. They also provide for such movements of goods under arrangements for NATO forces.

When enacted, they will ensure that these customs procedures operate as before once the United Kingdom exits the European Union.

Draft Notices to be made under these Regulations are here.

Detailed following of the new Customs arrangements is beyond the scope of this Blog. HMRC continue to publish guidance and instructions. Please follow HMRC for these.

Food and Feed Technical Notices (Brexit UK)

On 19th October 2018, the Food Standards Agency issued a Brexit Technical Notice on importing high-risk food and animal feed. This notice is not in the central collection, it is here.

On 4th December 2018, the Department of Health & Social Care issued a Brexit Technical Notice on food and feed safety risk assessment and management. This notice is not in the central collection. It is here.

(1) Immediately after EU exit, food safety authorities (the FSA and Food Standards Scotland (FSS)) will be responsible for providing risk management advice and recommendations for food and feed safety to ministers. Health ministers will then take the final decisions (involving other ministers as appropriate) based on the recommendation. This advice will be published.

(2) Responsibility for taking certain technical and routine food safety risk management decisions could be delegated to food safety authorities at a point after EU exit. This would be subject to consultation.

(3) If the UK leaves the EU in March 2019 with no deal in place, it is anticipated the UK would no longer have access to the EU import notification system, TRACES. This means importers to the UK from the rest of the world will no longer be able to use TRACES to notify the UK about those goods. To ensure those importing high-risk food and feed could continue to do so, a new import notification system is being developed to take the place of TRACES. More information on the new system will be published in the autumn.

(4) Anyone currently using the TRACES system to pre-notify the UK about high-risk food and feed product imports from the rest of the world will need to start using the UK’s new import notification system, ahead of March 2019.

Brexit Bill Tracker (UK)

The current state of Brexit Bills (Dec 5th 2018) is in the Institute for Government diagram depicted.

– Fisheries bill entered Committee stage yesterday

– Trade bill still missing in action in the Lords

– First bill *only* needed for no deal exit

– No sign of the Immigration bill (or white paper)

IF the UK Government loses the 11th December vote, the No Deal exit emergency legislation and instructions are published. I will post a new post then.

26 Nov 2018 Withdrawal Agreement (EU-UK Brexit/FTA)

UPDATE(2) : the UK Government published Legal Position on the Withdrawal Agreement is here.

UPDATE : the UK Parliament vote is 11th December, after five days of debate.

Following political agreement between the parties, the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement (and accompanying Political Declaration) is laid before the UK Parliament – here.

I have posted before about these documents, and the next steps.

In the event that the Withdrawal Agreement (with its accompanying Political Declaration) is not agreed by the UK Parliament, a period of 21 days is set out in existing law for the UK Government to present its plan, a further 7 days is provided for the UK Parliament to consider that plan.

It is expected the UK Parliament will vote on 12th December 2018.

From the start of 2019 the UK Parliament will sit 5 days a week.

Please continue to follow this Blog.