Q&As

The UKs withdrawal from the EU

PIC

My United Kingdom-based company exports chemicals, which are subject to the PIC Regulation to countries outside the EU. We used to regularly notify our exports via ePIC. Do we need to continue notifying these exports and, if yes, to whom and by what means?

The PIC Regulation does not apply in the United Kingdom, except from Northern Ireland.  The United Kingdom legislator has now established rules for exports by companies based in the United Kingdom. Further information can be found here.

As the United Kingdom is a Party to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent procedure, the United Kingdom maintains 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 and legislation in place regulating your export.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply. Northern Ireland-based companies will therefore be subject to the PIC Regulation. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

As a United Kingdom-based company, do we need to report on our yearly exports/imports of PIC chemicals in 2020?

If you are a United Kingdom-based company, as from 1 January 2021, you will have no obligations for reporting data on exports/imports, including for exports/imports which took place in 2020. However, we recommend that you check with the relevant national authority in the United Kingdom  to verify whether you will have reporting obligations under the national United Kingdom legislation.

As a Northern Ireland-based company, do we need to report on our yearly exports/imports of PIC chemical?

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply. If your company is based in Northern Ireland, your obligations to report exports and imports will continue. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

Regarding exports and imports made to or from non-EU countries in 2020, you will have to report those during the first quarter of 2021. However, exports and imports to/from United Kingdom which took place in 2020, do not have to be reported. Exports and imports to/from United Kingdom in 2021 and the following years, will have to be reported as from the first quarter of 2022.

My company is based in the United Kingdom. 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 United Kingdom-based company, you 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 care of the export on your behalf. 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. 

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply. If your company is based in Northern Ireland, you can continue using ePIC to submit your export notifications. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

My United Kingdom-based company exports chemicals which are listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent procedure. Do we still have to notify our exports to the EU?

The United Kingdom is itself a Party to the Rotterdam Convention. Therefore, you 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 United Kingdom for further information.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

My United Kingdom-based company exports to EU Member States chemicals that are subject to the EU’s PIC Regulation but not listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention). Do we still have to notify our exports to the EU?

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.
The United Kingdom is longer part of the single customs area of the EU, hence your United Kingdom based company has no obligations in relation to the PIC Regulation. You are, however, advised to inform yourself of any obligations that may derive from national United Kingdom legislation.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

Does my United Kingdom-based company continue having access to ePIC? If not, are we able to export our data from the system?

United Kingdom-based companies no longer have access to ePIC. Currently, ePIC does not include any functionality allowing data to be exported from the system.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply, and thus companies located in Northern Ireland continue to have access to ePIC. However, companies established in Northern Ireland with an existing account with the former “United Kingdom” entity, are required to create a new account associated to the new entity UK(NI). Transfer of data between accounts is not possible. Since 1 January 2021 the data contained in the previous account is no longer accessible.

Can my United Kingdom-based company access ePIC for the purpose of consulting information on my exports and related data from previous years?

The 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. Companies based in the United Kingdom (as well as the former United Kingdom Designated National Authority - DNA) no longer have access to ePIC or to the data it contains.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

Does the PIC data provided by my United Kingdom-based company remain public after the end of the transition period?

Yes, the data continues to be available on the ECHA website.

Does my EU-based company need to notify an export of a chemical subject to the PIC Regulation to the United Kingdom?

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. Such exports to the United Kingdom need to be notified.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply. Therefore, shipments from the EU to Northern Ireland and vice-versa are not subject to PIC obligations. Please refer to Q&A 1711 and QA 1568 for further details.

Does 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 United Kingdom?

The United Kingdom is itself a Party to the Rotterdam Convention. Therefore, if you are planning to export a chemical listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention to the United Kingdom, you must check in the latest PIC Circular whether the United Kingdom 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 Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply. Therefore, shipments from the EU to Northern Ireland and vice-versa are not subject to PIC obligations. Please refer to Q&A 1711 for further details.

My EU-based company buys a product from a company based in the United Kingdom and it is subsequently shipped directly to my customer who is based in another non-EU country. Do we need to notify the export?
As the product you hold the contract for does not come from an EU country nor is in free circulation within the EU custom territory, it does not fall within the notion of “export” pursuant to Article 3.16 (a) or (b) of the PIC Regulation. Consequently, no export notification is needed under the EU PIC Regulation.
 
However, please note that the following circumstances may lead to exceptions:
 
  • Any national legislation regulating exports in place in the United Kingdom;
  • If the exported chemical is listed in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention (as well as being subject to the EU PIC Regulation).
 
In Northern Ireland, the PIC Regulation continues to apply. Therefore, if the company shipping the product to a third country (i.e. any other custom territory than those of the EU and United Kingdom) is located in the Northern Ireland, and your company is the holder of the contract, then the EU company should notify the export to your DNA.
My EU-based company imports chemicals subject to PIC from companies based in the United Kingdom. Do we have any obligations under the PIC Regulation?

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.

In Northern Ireland the PIC Regulation continues to apply, therefore, shipments from companies located in Northern Ireland to the EU and vice-versa are not subject to such reporting obligations under PIC.