These regulations will amend a number of EU Regulations that will be retained as UK law after Brexit. Powers previously vested in the European Commission will be transferred to policymakers and regulators within the UK.
The EU Regulations affected concern topics including timber imports and exports, pollution reporting, transfrontier shipment of waste and control of mercury.
The regulations also enable the UK Secretary of State or devolved administrations to determine Best Available Techniques (BAT) for industrial sectors within the permitting regime after Brexit.
The Environment and Wildlife (Legislative Functions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 will amend a number of EU regulations on the date the UK leaves the EU (exit day).
The Regulations updated will be retained as UK law under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 and the amendments made are needed to transfer powers previously held by the European Commission to policymakers and regulators within the UK.
Updated regimes for the trade in wildlife products (including pelts) and on leghold traps will be affected by this legislation but are not covered here.
What will be updated?
Revisions to powers are covered for each regime below.
The UK Secretary of State, Welsh Ministers, Scottish Ministers and Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs will be able to apply controls on further persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and setting POP waste concentration limits.
The UK Secretary of State will become responsible for the licensing of timber imports to the UK. The Secretary of State will also become responsible for setting obligations on timber suppliers, including risk assessment and due diligence responsibilities.
The UK Secretary of State Welsh Ministers, Scottish Ministers and Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs will assume powers enabling further reporting obligations to be set. These may include additional parameters for monitoring, revised monitoring guidelines or reporting duties.
The UK Secretary of State will assume responsibility for setting documentation and communication requirements regarding the transfrontier shipment of waste. The Secretary of State will also be responsible for implementing future international agreements on the movement of waste.
The UK Secretary of State will become responsible for the administration and regulation of registers of genetic material.
The UK Secretary of State, Welsh Ministers, Scottish Ministers and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs will become responsible for import and export restrictions on mercury, application of international agreements and requirements on the storage of mercury, its compounds and mixtures.
The UK Secretary of State will become responsible for the administration of CITES, including restrictions on certain species, derogations and rules for the authorisation of imports and exports.
Powers to make Best Available Techniques Conclusions (BATC)
The Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU enables the European Commission to determine and apply BATC documents for each sector.
Part 3 of the 2019 regulations establish a UK BATC regime, which will replace the existing EU arrangements.
The UK Secretary of State, Welsh Ministers, Scottish Ministers or Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) will be able to make regulations (statutory rules in Northern Ireland) specifying BATC for each sector.
Arrangements for the application of BATC to permitted installations will remain unchanged. The respective environmental regulator will have four years to update all permits within each sector to reflect BATC requirements.
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