Conseils aux entreprises / Questions & Réponses

The UKs withdrawal from the EU

PIC

My UK(Great Britain)-based company exports chemicals, which are subject to the PIC Regulation to countries outside the EU. We regularly notify our exports via ePIC. Do we need to continue notifying these exports also after the end of the transition periodand, if yes, to whom and by what means?

Until the end of the transition period, the UK will remain in the single customs area of the EU. Thereafter the PIC Regulation will no longer apply in the UK. It will be in the hands of the UK legislator to establish rules for exports by companies based in the UK. As the UK is a Party to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent procedure, the UK will maintain a Designated National Authority (DNA) that will implement PIC at a global level. We suggest that you contact the UK DNA to inform yourself on any national procedures in place regulating your export.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the transition period. Northern Ireland-based companies will therefore be subject to the PIC Regulation. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

What will happen to the export notifications that my UK(Great Britain)-based company submitted prior to the end of the transition period, for exports in 2020? Will they remain valid?

Your export notification will stay valid throughout year 2020.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the transition period. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

As a UK(Great Britain)-based company, do we need to report on our yearly exports/imports of PIC chemicals also after the end of the transition period?

The PIC Regulation will apply in the United Kingdom until the end of the transition period, as the UK will still remain in a single customs area with the EU. Article 10 of the Regulation obliges importers and exporters to inform, during the first quarter of each year, the designated national authority of their Member State regarding the quantity of the chemical, as a substance and as contained in mixtures or in articles, shipped to each Party or other country during the preceding year. Thus, you have the duty to report on your exports/imports of PIC chemicals until the end of the transition period. As from 1 January 2021, you will have no obligations for reporting data on exports/imports, including for exports/imports which took place in 2020. However, we recommend that you check with the relevant national authority in the UK to verify whether you will have reporting obligations under the national UK legislation.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the transition period. If your company is based in Northern Ireland, your obligations to report exports and imports will continue. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

My company is based in the UK(Great Britain). However, our exports of PIC chemicals are shipped directly to a non-EU country from a branch which is located in an EU Member State. As we hold the contract with the importer in the non-EU country, we need to continue submitting export notifications in ePIC in order to obtain the necessary approval for these exports. How will we be able to do this?

As a UK(Great Britain)-based company, after the transition period you will no longer have access to ePIC and will not need to notify your exports in this way. However, in this case, even though you hold the contract for this export, in accordance with Article 3(18)(b) of the PIC Regulation, the EU-based branch of your company will take care of the export on your behalf. They should therefore contact their DNA within the EU (contact details) in case they are not already aware of their obligations under the PIC Regulation. 

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the transition period.  If your company is based in Northern Ireland, you can continue using ePIC to submit your export notifications. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

My UK(Great Britain)-based company exports chemicals which are listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent procedure. Do we have to notify our exports to the EU after the end of the transition period?

The UK is itself a Party to the Rotterdam Convention. Therefore, you will still have obligations when exporting chemicals that are included in Annex III to the Convention. After the end of the transition period, if you are exporting to an EU Member State, you must first check in the latest PIC Circular whether the EU has provided an import response. In the absence of a response, you should contact the PIC DNA in the UK for further information.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the transition period. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

My UK(Great Britain)-based company exports to EU Member States chemicals that are subject to the EU’s PIC Regulation but not listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention). Will we have to notify our exports to the EU after the end of the transition period?

Only exporters based in the EU have a legal obligation to notify exports of the chemicals listed in Annex I part 1 and 2 of the EU PIC Regulation.

After the end of the transition period, as the UK will no longer be part of the single customs area of the EU, you will no longer have any obligations in relation to the PIC Regulation. You are, however, advised to inform yourself of any obligations that may derive from national UK legislation.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the transition period. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

Will my UK(Great Britain)-based company continue having access to ePIC? If not, will we be able to export our data from the system?

After the end of the transition period, UK-based companies will no longer have access to ePIC. Currently, ePIC does not include any functionality allowing data to be exported from the system.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the transition period, and thus companies located in Northern Ireland will continue to have access in ePIC. However, companies established in Northern Ireland with an existing account with the former “UK” entity, will be required to create a new account associated to the new entity UK(NI). Transfer of data between accounts is not possible. As from 1 January 2021 the data contained in the previous account will no longer be accessible.

Will my UK(Great Britain)-based company be able to access ePIC after the UK withdrawal for the purpose of consulting information on my exports and related data from previous years?

ePIC is the IT tool that is provided for use by relevant stakeholders within the EU for the purpose of administering the implementation of the PIC Regulation. After the end of the transition period, companies based in the UK (as well as the former UK Designated National Authority - DNA) will no longer have access to ePIC or to the data it contains.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the transition period. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

Will the PIC data provided by my UK(Great Britain)-based company remain public after the end of the transition period?

Yes, the data will continue to be available on the ECHA website.

After the end of the transition period, will my EU-based company need to notify an export of a chemical subject to the PIC Regulation to the UK(Great Britain)?

Yes. The EU PIC Regulation places obligations on companies based in the EU who wish to export chemicals listed in Annex I to non-EU countries. After the end of the transition period,  any such exports to the UK(Great Britain) will need to be notified.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the transition period. Therefore, shipments from the EU to Northern Ireland and vice-versa are not subject to PIC obligations. Please refer to Q&A 1711 and QA 1568 for further details.

After the end of the transition period, will my EU-based company need to notify an export of a chemical listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention (and therefore also to the PIC Regulation) to the UK(Great Britain)?

The UK is itself a Party to the Rotterdam Convention. Therefore, if after the end of the transition period you are planning to export a chemical listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention to the UK, you must check in the latest PIC Circular whether the UK has provided an import response. In case there is a positive response, it will be sufficient to submit a special RIN request (please see the factsheet);

In the absence of a response, you must submit an export notification, and an explicit consent from the authorities in the UK will be required in order for the export to take place.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the transition period. Therefore, shipments from the EU to Northern Ireland and vice-versa are not subject to PIC obligations. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

After the UK withdrawal, will my EU-based company need to notify an export of a chemical subject to the PIC Regulation to Gibraltar?

As Gibraltar is currently (i.e. even prior to the UK withdrawal) not a part of the EU customs territory, you will simply need to continue notifying your exports of chemicals subject to the PIC Regulation also after the UK withdrawal.

My EU-based company buys a product from a company based in the UK(Great Britain) and it is subsequently shipped directly to my customer who is based in another non-EU country. Do we need to notify the export?
As the product you hold the contract for does not come from an EU country nor is in free circulation within the EU custom territory, it does not fall within the notion of “export” pursuant to Article 3.16 (a) or (b) of the PIC Regulation. Consequently, no export notification will be needed under the EU PIC Regulation.
 
However, please note that the following circumstances may lead to exceptions:
 
  • Any national legislation regulating exports in place in the UK;
  • If the exported chemical is listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention (as well as being subject to the EU PIC Regulation).
In Northern Ireland, the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the end of the transition period. Therefore, if the company shipping the product to a third country (i.e. any other custom territory than those of the EU and UK(Great Britain) is located in the Northern Ireland, and your company is the holder of the contract, then the EU company should notify the export to your DNA.
My EU-based company imports chemicals subject to PIC from companies based in the UK(Great Britain). Will we have any additional obligations after the end of the transition period?

Yes, pursuant to Article 10(1) of the PIC Regulation, in the first quarter of the year following the import you should provide details on the import(s) to your Designated National Authority (DNA) by means of ePIC.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the transition period; therefore,  shipments from companies located in Northern Ireland to the EU and vice-versa are not subject to such reporting obligations under PIC.

My EU-based company needs to notify an export of a chemical subject to the PIC Regulation to the UK (Great Britain)that will take place after the end of the transition period. How should I proceed?

Pursuant to Article 8(2) of Regulation (EU) No 649/2012 on the export and import of hazardous chemicals, exporters are required to notify their exports 35 days before the expected date of export. To cover exports taking place in 2021 ePIC has been updated to enable EU-based exporters to notify the planned export to the United Kingdom (Great Britain) in advance of the end of the transition period. 

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply after the transition period, so shipments from the EU to Northern Ireland and vice-versa are not subject to PIC obligations.

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