Implications for the gases industry
The UK left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020 (commonly known as Brexit). A transition period is in place while the EU and UK negotiate new arrangements for a trade deal. It will end on 31 December 2020.
Your responsibility to protect the health and safety of people affected by your work activities remain the same during the transition period. The HSE provide advice on the transition period.
If the UK does not agree a deal with the EU (the no-deal scenario) then UK and European legislation will diverge.
However, note that all this information is subject to change and will be dependent on the outcome of political negotiations and the requirements of any deal, or no-deal, that is agreed.
The Government provides information on preparing for Brexit at https://www.gov.uk/brexit
To help prepare your business an electronic information tool is available at https://www.gov.uk/business-uk-leaving-eu
The EU have published a notice on the withdrawal of the UK and EU rules in the field of industrial products. https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/file_import/industrial_products_en_1.pdf
Note that while the UK may enact new Regulations there is no guarantee that they will be recognised by, or that products conforming with the Regulations will be acceptable to, the EU.
There are several specific topics which are of interest to the gases industry:
Regulation of chemicals
In a no-deal scenario, the UK and the EU regulatory agencies would operate independently from each other. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) provide guidance.
REACH (The Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals manufactured in or imported into the European Union). The UK will establish its own regulatory system for REACH. https://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/reach.htm
Classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) of chemicals. https://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/clp-no-deal.htm
Export and import of hazardous chemicals (PIC).
Regulating Plant Protection Products (PPPs), often referred to as ‘pesticides'. https://www.hse.gov.uk/brexit/regulating-pesticides-no-deal.htm
European CHemicals Agency (ECHA)
The UK will continue to comply with existing legislation for the International carriage of dangerous goods.
Road transport will comply with the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations [SI 2009 N0. 1348] (as amended). It is expected that the UK Government will enact amendment Regulations to clarify this policy.
Government information campaign for businesses and hauliers.
Customs and excise
Having the correct documentation when crossing National borders. Import and export requirements.
The status of conformity assessment bodies.
Due to the complexity of the regulation for medical devices and transportable pressure equipment these products will not be subject to the new UK framework, and separate arrangements will apply.
United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The latest information from UKAS is available at: https://www.ukas.com/customer-area/ukas-and-brexit/
Compliance with the Pressure Equipment Directive
CE Marking and the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark. The UKCA mark is the new UK product marking that will be used for certain goods being placed on the UK market. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/prepare-to-use-the-ukca-mark-after-brexit
Compliance with the Transportable Pressure Equipment Directive
Transportable pressure equipment will comply with the Carriage of Dangerous Goods and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations [SI 2009 N0. 1348] (as amended). It is expected that the UK Government will enact amendment Regulations to clarify this policy.
The British Standards Institute (BSI) has advised that its membership of the International Organizations for Standards ISO and IEC is unaffected by Brexit. Membership of the European Standards Organizations CEN and CENELEC will involve a transition period following Brexit to ensure that BSI can continue its membership of both organizations on a permanent basis.
When travelling changes to documentation required may include:
• Passport. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-brexit
• Insurance (including health cover). https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-insurance
• Driving documentation, including a licence. https://www.gov.uk/drive-abroad. https://www.postoffice.co.uk/identity/international-driving-permit
• Visa. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
There are also likely to be changes to mobile phone charges.