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The UKs withdrawal from the EU

PIC

My UK-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 from the date of the UK withdrawal onwards and, 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 to you. 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.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

What will happen to the export notifications that my UK-based company submitted prior to the UK withdrawal, for exports in 2020? Will they remain valid?

Your export notification will stay valid throughout year 2020.

As a UK-based company, do we need to report on our yearly exports/imports of PIC chemicals also after the UK withdrawal?

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 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. In case there is no extension of the transition period, you will have no obligations for reporting data on exports/imports after 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.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

My company is based in the UK. 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-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 on the role of the exporter. 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.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

My UK-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 UK withdrawal?

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.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

My UK-based company exports chemicals subject to the EU’s PIC Regulation (i.e., other than the chemicals listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention) to EU Member States. Will we have to notify our exports to the EU after the UK withdrawal?

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.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

Will my UK-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.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

Will my UK-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.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

Will the PIC data provided by my UK-based company remain public after the UK withdrawal?

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

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

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 will need to be notified.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

See also QA1568.

After the UK withdrawal, 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?

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.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

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 and it is subsequently shipped directly to my customer who is based in another non-EU country. Do we need to notify the export?

Even though you hold the contract for this export, in this case, in accordance with Article 3(18)(b) of the PIC Regulation, the UK company currently takes on the role of the exporter. After the end of the transition period, the UK company will no longer have any obligations under the EU PIC Regulation. Consequently, no export notification will be needed.

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).

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

My EU-based company imports chemicals subject to PIC from companies based in the UK. Will we have any additional obligations after the UK withdrawal?

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.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

My EU-based company needs to notify an export of a chemical subject to the PIC Regulation to the UK, and the export will take place after the end of the transition period. In accordance with Article 8(2) of the PIC Regulation, the export should be notified 35 days before the expected date of export, how to 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 the first 35 days of 2021 if there is no confirmation of the extension of the transition period, a procedure will be reactivated to allow EU-based exporters to notify the planned export to the United Kingdom in advance of the end of the transition period. These export notifications will take effect if the end of the transition period is confirmed

Instructions on how to proceed are described in the document “How to notify PIC exports to the UK in the absence of a decision on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU”.

Please note that this reply does not yet take into account the impact of the Protocol on Northern Ireland which will become applicable as from the end of the transition period. The reply will be amended in due course accordingly.

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