Fortieth Report Contents

Instruments of interest

Draft Plant Health (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

52.This instrument aims to protect biosecurity and support trade between Great Britain (GB) and Northern Ireland (NI) by ensuring that plant health controls for Qualifying NI goods (Qualifying Goods) moving from NI to GB can function after the end of the Transition Period. The instrument also clarifies the internal GB controls applicable to Qualifying Goods. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says that as a result of the NI Protocol, different Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements will apply in GB and in NI, and that the changes in this instrument support the Government’s policy on unfettered market access for Qualifying Goods, by defining how this access operates for plant health and allowing enforcement action to be taken in GB if SPS requirements are not met. Under these arrangements, businesses will be allowed to move Qualifying Goods from NI into GB under an EU Plant Passport and, once in GB, this EU Plant Passport can continue to accompany the Qualifying Goods.

53.We asked the Department whether a UK plant passport will be recognised for goods that move from GB to NI. Defra told us that: “Regulated plants and plant products moving from GB into NI will need to be accompanied by a Phytosanitary Certificate”, as will be the case for exports of plants from GB to the EU,23 adding that “there will be a grace period for supermarkets to update their procedures” until 1 April 2021.24 A recent Command Paper provides more detail.25

54.We received a submission from Friends of the Earth which sought clarification of how plant products that pose a pest risk may be moved off an emergency measures list and be allowed to be imported and transported with conditions attached where the risk can be reduced to an acceptable level. We are publishing the submission and Defra’s response on our website.26

Clean Air Zones Central Services (Fees) (England) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1444)

55.When Clean Air Zones (CAZ) are set up, to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide levels, the local authority will be able to impose a charge on non-compliant vehicles (like the Congestion charge). The Government plan to put in place centralised administration for collecting those charges — this instrument allows them to collect £2 per charge as an administration fee. The Department for Transport (DfT) states that Bath and North East Somerset are scheduled to operate the first CAZ from 15 March 2021 and Birmingham city centre will follow on 1 June 2021. In Bath the charge for non-compliant coaches, buses and HGVs is proposed to be £100. For taxis, private hire vehicles, minibuses and vans it will be £9 a day, but the level of charge will vary in each location.

56.However, the Explanatory Memorandum gave no indication of the volume of charges or the anticipated income, so that we were unable to judge whether this fee was set at an appropriate level. From the supplementary information (published at Appendix 2) it is expected that the income derived will only meet about half of the cost of the service provided (a shortfall of £38.7 million). DfT states that the £2 charge “is the optimum figure, because it minimises the risk of unnecessary delays and further litigation; allows Local Authorities to cover their own costs (under the New Burden principle) and represents a reasonable proportion of costs recovery to the Government and has been agreed with HM Treasury.”

57.The money generated through local authorities’ charging Clean Air Zone must be used to improve air quality with any surplus being used in support of local transport plans. Although the objective is cleaner air, the House may wish to ask the Minister for further details about the costs and benefits of the solution they have chosen.

International Waste Shipments (Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1455)

58.This instrument implements changes made to the Annexes of the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (“the Convention”) and to the Decision on Transboundary Movements of Waste destined for Recovery Operations by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). As a Party to the Convention and a Member of the OECD, the UK is obliged to implement the changes. The changes aim to reduce illegal cross-border shipment of plastic waste and encourage environmentally sound management of such waste.

59.The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs explains that a new code for contaminated and highly mixed plastic waste (referred to as “Y48”) is introduced so that future shipments of this type of waste will require prior informed consent from regulators in the countries of dispatch, transit and destination. Exporters will also have to obtain a financial guarantee to provide for the costs of returning the waste to the UK if it cannot be recycled in the destination country. In addition, a new category of hazardous plastic waste (referred to as “A3210”) is introduced which will be subject to the same controls as Y48 when shipped to other OECD countries. Any shipments of A3210 to non-OECD countries will be prohibited. The changes took effect from 1 January 2021.

National Lottery (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1475)

60.This instrument increases, with effect from 1 October 2021, the minimum age for buying and selling tickets for National Lottery games from 16 to 18 years. Where vending machines are used to sell National Lottery tickets, the minimum age for those who attend the machines to stop underage people purchasing tickets or to prevent excessive play is also increased to 18 years.

61.The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) explains that there is emerging evidence of a potential link between 16 and 17-year olds playing lottery games, especially instant win games, and the likelihood of problem gambling in adulthood. There have been calls to increase the minimum age, including by the House of Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry.27

62.According to DCMS, the coming into force date of October 2021 reflects a preference of the sector for advance notice and allows the Gambling Commission and Camelot, as the operator of the National Lottery, to manage the impact of the changes and support the sector with changing systems, training retailers and updating signage. DCMS says that a review of the Gambling Act and a call for evidence which was launched in December 2020 will include a review of the minimum age for playing society lotteries.28

Air Traffic Management (Amendment etc) (EU Exit) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1498)

63.The Air Traffic Management (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 201929 sought to ensure that UK law would remain interoperable with the rest of Europe under the Single European Sky (SES) initiative and the EU legislation on Performance-Based Navigation that enhances air traffic safety standards and efficiency. These Regulations make certain modifications to update the 2019 Regulations, in particular, to remove a requirement that after the end of the Implementation Period manufacturers, or their authorised representatives that self-certify their components, must be UK-based. This is because NATS (formerly known as National Air Traffic Services) currently rely on some EU-based manufacturers for specialised products which do not have UK-based agents. The EM states “This instrument therefore amends the 2019 Regulations to reflect this reality and ensure air navigation service providers are able to continue to source the technical equipment they need to provide air navigation services.”

23 Defra, ‘Importing and exporting plants and plant products from 1 January 2021’,(31 December 2020): [accessed 31 December 2020].

24 HC Deb, 9 December 2020, Col 847.

27 Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry, Gambling Harm—Time for Action, (Report of Session 2019–21, HL Paper 79).

28 DCMS, Review of the Gambling Act 2005: Terms of Reference and Call for Evidence (8 December 2020): [accessed 17 December 2020].

29 Air Traffic Management (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 (SI 2019/459).

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