European Union (Future Relationship) Act 2020
The following sections of the Act will commence on Royal Assent (30th December 2020):
- Section 6(1)
- Paragraph 4 of Schedule 2
- Paragraph 2(1) to 2(5) of Schedule 3
- Sections 30 to 33
- Sections 25 to 38, including Schedule 5
- Section 39(1), (2) and (4)
- Paragraphs 4 and 11 to 13 of Schedule 6
The other provisions will commence on the day or days appointed by regulations.
- The General Product Safety Regulations 2005
- The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008
- The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products Regulations 2010
- Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012
- Explosives Regulations 2014
- The Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations 2015
- The Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016
- Simple Pressure Vessels (Safety) Regulations 2016
- Lifts Regulations 2016
- Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016
- Pressure Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016
- Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016
- Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 402/2013 on the common safety method for risk evaluation and assessment and repealing Regulation (EC) No 352/2009
- Regulation (EU) 2016/425
- Regulation (EU) 2016/426
This Act implements into legislation ‘Agreements‘ that have been agreed between the United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) following the UK’s departure from the EU:
- The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).
- The Agreement on Nuclear Cooperation.
- The Agreement on Security Procedures for Exchanging and Protecting Classified Information.
The Act is required to implement the Agreements for them to have domestic legal effect and to enable the UK Government to consent to the Agreements. It also enables the implementation of future arrangements and agreements.
The applicability to health and safety relates to Part 2 of the Act, specifically disclosure and sharing of non-food product safety information within the UK and with the EU.
Non-food product safety information includes the compliance of products, as well as whether they are safe, and the information listed in Article TBT.9(3) of the TCA and information under the Annexes on chemicals and motor vehicles to the Trade and Cooperation Agreement:
- TBT-1: Motor vehicles and equipment and parts thereof, or
- TBT-3: Chemicals.
Product safety information within the UK
This Act provides a way for the UK to share non-food product safety information received from the European Commission with the ‘appropriate person‘ so that the information can be used for the protection of consumers and others.
Where a relevant authority, i.e. a Government Minister or the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), receives non-food product safety information from the European Commission, they can disclose non-food product safety information received from the EU for a permitted purpose. The following are permitted purposes:
- to ensure health and safety;
- to ensure the protection of consumers; and
- to ensure the protection of the environment.
There is no restriction on who the information can be shared with, provided it is for the permitted purpose. In practice, it is expected that this information will be shared with public authorities, such as market surveillance authorities and the Crown Dependencies, as part of their inclusion in the TCA.
A person who receives non-food product safety information from the EU may only use the information for a permitted purpose and is not able to further disclose the information except with the consent of the relevant authority.
Product safety information with the EU
The Act also provides a way for a Government Minister or the HSE to share with the European Commission information which relates to non-food product safety for the purpose of the TCA. The TCA establishes contact points through which this information will be exchanged between the UK Government and the European Commission.
There are no direct compliance duties for organisations in this Act.
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