While the United Kingdom exited the European Union on 1 February 2020, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement agreed between the EU and the UK, EU law continues to apply in and to the UK for a transition period ending on 31 December 2020.
The UK has since, however, confirmed that it will not seek an extension to this transition period. EU law will, therefore, cease to apply to the UK from 1 January 2021.
The European Commission has recently published a number of notices on the legal and practical implications arising at the end of the transition period which are relevant to the Marine area. These Commission Notices replace Readiness Notices previously published by the Commission during 2018 and early 2019.
A Communication from the Commission on Getting Ready for changes at the end of the transition period and seven other specific readiness notices relevant to maritime transport are as follows:
1. Communication from the Commission – Getting ready for changes: Communication on readiness at the end of the transition period between the European Union and the United Kingdom, published on 9 July 2020 – see here
2. Commission Notice to Stakeholders in the Field of Maritime Transport, published on 4 June 2020 (replacing the Commission notices dated 27 February 2018 (maritime transport) and 11 October 2019 (seafarer qualifications, Rev.1) – see here
3. Commission Notice to Stakeholders on EU rules in the field of Ship Recycling, published on 8 June 2020 (replacing the Commission notice dated 28 March 2018) – see here
4. Notice to Stakeholders in the Field of Industrial Products, published on 13 March 2020 (replacing the Commission notice dated 22 January 2018 and the Q&A document dated 1 February 2019). The products covered by this Notice include recreational craft and personal watercraft and marine equipment as listed in the Annex to the Notice – see here
5. Notice to Stakeholders in the field of Recreational Craft and Personal Watercraft, published on 25 June 2020 (replacing the Commission notice dated 5 April 2019) – see here
6. Notice to Stakeholders – in the field of aviation security and maritime security, published on 28 April 2020 (replacing the Commission notice dated 23 October 2018) – see here
7. Notice to Stakeholders – EU rules on the monitoring and verification of CO2 emissions from maritime transport, published on 16 July 2020 (replacing the Commission notice dated 19 December 2018) – see here
The Commission Communication of 9 July 2020 highlights the importance for stakeholders of ensuring their readiness for the automatic changes arising following the end of the transition period as of 1 January 2021.
The Commission published notices are intended to facilitate preparation by EU-27 Member States and by wider stakeholders in the areas concerned for the end of the UK’s transition period on 31 December 2020.
The full notice can be accessed by clicking here