Environmental Standards

At present, there are harmonised environmental standards across the European Union to a very significant extent. They deal with air, waste, water, wildlife and the natural environment and climate change issues.

The UK government has confirmed that it will re-enact all EU legislation or EU based legislation in UK law. It proposes to bring forward an Environmental bill to apply to England and on reserve matters in respect of the devolved administrations, to deal with a wide range of areas in the environmental sphere.

The UK proposes a new statutory independent body to hold the government to account on environmental standards in England and on reserved matters in the United Kingdom. The framework for enforcing domestic environmental legislation UK registry bodies or courts is to continue. EU targets are to be translated into domestic UK law.

Ozone Depletion Measures

The EU ozone-depleting substances regulation restricts the use of chemicals and substances which damage the ozone layer. The regulations implement the Montréal protocol which seeks to phase out ozone-depleting substances and restrict their use considerably. Quotas are allocated to companies to allow them to place limited quantities of ozone-depleting substances on the market.Certain products containing ozone-depleting substances are prohibited.

The EU fluorinated greenhouse gases regulation seeks the phase-down of the principal fluorinated gases (hydrofluorocarbons) in order to address climate change. There is an obligation to scale them down globally by 2036. The EU regulation goes further than the Montréal protocol in respect of phase down.

The EU commission allocates coasters to business in relation to use of HFC’s. UK businesses will no longer qualify for EU quotas. The requirements for reduction will continue to apply under domestic law to ensure the climate change goals and obligations of the UK are met.

The UK confirms it will set up the sold quota systems in respect of ozone-depleting substances and hydrofluorocarbons. The current EU quotas will be split and apportioned to the UK. The UK will adhere to the same quotas for adoption as applies to date. The UK will adopt new administration, monitoring and enforcement mechanisms.

Certificates issued by EU bodies will continue to be valid in the UK allowing technicians holding certificates to continue to work in the UK.

Carbon Emissions

There are common EU regulations on the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles registered in the EU. After Brexit, the UK will provide a UK only set of specific carbon dioxide emission reductions. The existing position will be largely retained from a practical perspective. There will be no longer an obligation to report reductions to the European environment agency.

The EU regulations are based on the place of registration. New registrations in the UK after Brexit will be subject to the EU specific regulations regardless of the place of manufacture. Vehicle manufacturers making less than a certain level of new vehicles may be granted a derogation.

Fauna and Flora

Subject to any other arrangements which may be entered, the EU legislation on the protection of species of wild fauna and Flora will no longer apply to the United Kingdom after Brexit. The introduction into the EU of specimens listed in the regulations (protected species) is subject to prior presentation at the customs office of entry of an import permit issued by an EU competent authority of destination there are conditions for issue of the import permit.

The export re-export from the EU of specimens of the affected species are subject to prior presentation and of an export permit by the competent authority.

After Brexit, the EU regulations on protection of fauna flora and the environment will no longer apply in the United Kingdom. The introduction into the EU of specimens of species listed in the regulations are subject to prior presentation of the customs at the point of entry and an import permit issued by the management authority of the European Union state of destination

The export  from the EU to a third country of specimens of protected species are also subject to prior presentation at the customs office at which export formalities are completed and to an export or re-export certificate.


There are common EU provisions on waste shipment waste management targets and recovery operations. After Brexit exports of waste electrical and electronic equipment for treatment in the UK will be counted towards the EU waste management targets in that regard provided that the UK conforms with the requirements of the directive. There are similar provisions in respect of batteries and accumulators.

Exports of municipal waste,  material for  reuse and recycling and exports of construction and demolition waste for reuse or recovery will be counted towards the EU targets. Exports of packaging and packaging waste end of life vehicles will be treated as EU exports and part of the EU recovery targets.

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