Many of our members have contacted us regarding the impact of Brexit on their organisation. In terms of WEEE compliance it is set to be business as usual, however DEFRA are due to release separate amendments to the RoHS directive for which obligations could change slightly as a result of Brexit. We will of course update our members when the details become available.
There is also another issue that, whilst not strictly WEEE related, is due to impact some of our members – the Northern Ireland protocol.
What is the Northern Ireland protocol?
From January 2021, following the United Kingdom exiting the European Union, the Northern Ireland protocol will take effect. The protocol has been created by the Government to provide guidance concerning the movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the UK.
This is to try avoid a hard boarder with Ireland when the UK, including Northern Ireland, leaves the EU. The protocol will also enable the UK to still benefit from future Free Trade Agreements.
There are four main points to be aware of:
1. Any goods moving from Northern Ireland to Great Britain will continue the same as it does now.
The protocol ensures that there will be no additional paperwork, processes, checks or restrictions on Northern Ireland goods moving into Great Britain. This level of access will be available to all Northern Ireland businesses, including businesses whose headquarters are in Great Britain and have operations in Northern Ireland.
2. There will be minimal changes for goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
The government are establishing a new, free service a called Trader Support Service (TSS) which will record electronic information on goods movements to help traders through the new process of moving goods into Northern Ireland. Businesses will need to provide the appropriate information on the goods being moved and the service will sort out all the requirements for free.
3. The trade of goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland, and between Northern Ireland and EU member states, will continue as usual.
There will be no new paperwork, no changes at the border and no additional tariffs or regulatory checks. Northern Ireland businesses will continue to trade within the EU market and the UK market and will be largely unaffected.
4. Northern Ireland will benefit from the UK’s free trade agreements when trading with the rest of the world.
These benefits will be felt across the UK as a whole. Businesses importing into Northern Ireland will also have access to the Trader Support Service (TSS). This will ensure that businesses can avoid being burdened by any new complexities in the trading system. The service will be available free of charge to those who are importing goods into Northern Ireland from the rest of the world.
We are here to help
At B2B Compliance, we will continue to monitor the progress of Brexit and what impacts it may have on our WEEE members. If you do export any EEE products and would like further guidance, please complete our international compliance questionnaire and a member of the team will get in touch.