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Archived News Article

EU Exit Business Readiness Forum meeting on 14th February covering data and organisational compliance

This news article has been archived for reference only. It should not be relied upon for up-to-date information

Please find below summary notes from the EU Exit Business Readiness Forum meeting on 14th February covering data and organisational compliance.

Panellists

  • Donna Leong, Director of EU Exit Business Intelligence & Readiness, BEIS
  • Syma Cullasy-Aldridge, Department for Exiting the EU (DEXEU)
  • Andrew Death, Deputy Director
  • Carmen Suarez, Deputy Director - EU Analysis, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • David Rogers, Deputy Director- EU Exit Business Intelligence & Readiness
  • Andrew Elliot, Deputy Director- Digital identity - Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) held their third EU Exit Business Readiness Forum on Thursday 14th February at BEIS central London offices in Victoria, covering in this session Data and Organisational Compliance.

The forum was again hosted by Donna Leong, Director EU Exit Business Readiness in BEIS with panellists Carmen Suarez (BEIS), David Rogers (BEIS), Andrew Elliot (DCMS), Syma Cullasy-Aldridge (DEXEU) and Andrew Death (BEIS).

The Forum, aimed primarily at representative organisations such as trade associations and professional bodies, has 3 main objectives - to share the information UK businesses need to prepare for EU Exit; to provide materials to association bodies to cascade to members; and to respond to and gather feedback on existing and new materials circulated in readiness for the UK’s withdrawal.

Donna Leong welcomed attendees and gave an update on recent actions following feedback from delegates after the first 2 forum sessions. This includes updated bespoke content, improvements to the search function of the main campaign tool and the first sector specific guidance documents on consumer goods; retail; chemicals; machinery and electronics; space; professional Business and services, which have now been published.

Sector specific guidance can be found by searching the .gov platform or at:

Syma Cullasy-Aldridge – DEXEU

The consistent message is that whilst the government are making relevant preparations for a “no-deal” scenario their primary focus remains on obtaining a deal that will be agreed by parliament. Backstop discussions are currently on-going and following meetings scheduled for the end of February it is expected that discussions for the next stage (after a deal or transition) will start. It is likely that during this second stage industry will again be invited to feed into this process via similar forum style events.


Carmen Suarez – BEIS

Delegates were informed of current practice in relation to cross border mergers and investment including recognition of UK incorporation, the cross border merger regime and the potential impact of a “no-deal” scenario on UK businesses in EU member states. Typical issues would include:

It is also important to recognise that restrictions may be dependent on the individual requirements of each members state and potentially each sector. Information is available by market from portals such as E-Justice and OECD http://www.oecd.org/corporate/

The department has published a technical notice on structuring businesses in the event of a “no-deal” scenario - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/structuring-your-business-if-theres-no-brexit-deal--2/structuring-your-business-if-theres-no-brexit-deal


Andrew Death – BEIS

Speaking in further detail on new requirements for auditing and accounting as well as cross border mergers, Mr Death advised that in the event of “no-deal” UK-EU based company mergers would be structured through private contractual arrangements and not via the EU regime currently used. He also stressed that for any companies that were in the middle of merger activities that would not be concluded before 29th March, advice should be sought as soon as possible.

UK businesses with a branch operating in the EU will become “third country” businesses and will be required to comply with the specific accounting and reporting requirements in each member state in which they operate. Complying with the accounting and reporting requirements of the Companies Act 2006 may no longer be considered to be sufficient. In addition, UK businesses that are listed on an EU market may also be required to provide additional assurance to the relevant listing authority that their accounts comply with International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standard Board.

Whilst the UK would agree a transitional period in the field of audit, this would not be reciprocated by the EEA. As such UK auditors would not automatically be recognised within the EEA and registration as a “third country auditor” would be required to audit UK companies with debt or equity traded within the EEA market. Audits of all non-UK clients would depend on the specific EEA states own systems and rules.

A UK audit firm that wishes to own part of, or be part of the management body of, an EU firm will no longer be recognised among the required majority of EU qualified owners or managers.

In relation to qualifications, the department was said to be seeking clarification on whether UK qualifications would continue to be recognised in the EEA but it was acknowledged that this would need to be done on a state by state basis. In the event that a deal is agreed, the department would seek mutual recognition of qualifications.

Statutory Instruments on audit and accounting are currently being laid and it is recommended that these be consulted for further in-depth information.

The technical notice in relation to accounting and auditing can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/accounting-and-audit-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/accounting-and-audit-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

Andrew Elliot - DCMS

Currently the transfer of personal data within the EU is governed by the GDPR and in the UK the General Data Protection Act. The aim of GPDR was to provide users with greater control over personal data and ensure harmonisation across data protection rules. The GDPR also regulates data transfers from the EU to the rest of the world.

Mr Elliot advised that as data protection laws will be aligned with the EU at the point of exit, there would be no immediate change in personal data originating from the UK being sent to the EEA or the rest of the world.

However, should the UK leave the EU without a deal in place, incoming data originating from the EEA will require additional safeguards in the form of an adequacy decision; binding corporate rules; standard model clauses; derogations or codes of conduct and certification measures in accordance with Clause 5 of the EU GDPR.

In relation to agreements currently in place for the USA, data can still be circulated via “Privacy Shield”, although updated processes will be required to reference the change in regulation on the UK’s departure in the event of a “no-deal” scenario.

In relation to article 3 of the EU GDPR a controller or processor that is not established within the EEA (which the UK will be in the event of “no-deal”) will be required to appoint a representative within the EEA. The UK government intends to replicate this provision to require data controllers based outside of the UK to appoint a representative in the UK.

The technical notice on data transfers can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-protection-if-theres-no-brexit-deal/data-protection-if-theres-no-brexit-deal with further information https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-protection-law-eu-exit/amendments-to-uk-data-protection-law-in-the-event-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal-on-29-march-2019

A question was raised in relation to personal data held / received in the UK before exit and whether this would have to be deleted after March 29th. Mr Elliot replied that this would not need to be deleted due to the UK leaving the EU, but would still need to comply with the requirements of GDPR in relation to being held unnecessarily etc.

Attendees were advised that information is updated on a regular basis on the .gov and campaign platforms, particularly in relation to the partnership pack which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/partnership-pack-preparing-for-a-no-deal-eu-exit

Programme – to end of February

21st February – Workforce & People and Intellectual Property

28th February – EU/UK Funding, Public Procurement and Energy & Climate

It was felt that providing a forward view of topics that the forum will cover will encourage feedback, therefore members are invited to forward any queries they may have to Suzie Radcliffe-Hart sradcliffe-hart@fira.co.uk or info@fira.co.uk

Dates for forum meetings in March confirmed as 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th.

Association members can find further information on preparations for a potential “no-deal” Brexit including links to relevant documents and sources on .Gov/ HMRC platforms, information on importing, exporting and transporting goods, trading goods covered by the “New Approach” framework (CE marking directives), trading timber products and chemicals www.fira.co.uk/news/article/guidance-for-industry-leaving-the-eu-without-a-deal

Please click on the links below for further information from Government on:

Changes at the border - General

Changes at the boarder - Automotive

Import VAT on parcels service sellers outside the UK

Changes at the border - Hauliers

Changes at the border - Intermediaries

Changes at the border - Retail

Changes at the border - Chemicals

14 February 2019 - EU exit business readiness forum Q & A

14 February 2019 EU exit business readiness data organisation compliance

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