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The UKs withdrawal from the EU


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?

As the UK will no longer be a Member State of the EU, 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.

What will happen to the export notifications that my UK-based company submitted prior to the UK withdrawal, for exports in 2019? Will they remain valid?

After the UK’s withdrawal, as a UK-based exporter, you will no longer have any obligations under the PIC Regulation. Consequently, ECHA will disable any export notification submitted by any UK-based company so that it can no longer be used by those companies for exporting in 2019 and beyond.

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 UK withdrawal takes effect. Article 10 of 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 will need to report on your exports/imports of PIC chemicals which took place in 2018.You will have no obligations for reporting data on exports/imports after 2019. 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.

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-27 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, you will no longer have access to ePIC and do 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 available here: https://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/pic/designated-national-authority) in case they are not already aware of their obligations under the PIC Regulation.

My UK-based company exports chemicals which are subject to the EU PIC Regulation and 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. 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.

My EU27-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 date 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 EU27-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. ECHA will in due course amend the reply accordingly.

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