DRAFT DECISION No /2023 OF THE JOINT COMMITTEE ESTABLISHED BY THE AGREEMENT ON THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE EUROPEAN ATOMIC ENERGY COMMUNITY
of XX 2023 XXX
laying down arrangements relating to the Windsor Framework
THE JOINT COMMITTEE,
Having regard to the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community1 (‘the Withdrawal Agreement’), and in particular point (d) of Article 164(5) thereof, Article 5(2) of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland (‘the Protocol’), as well as point (c) of Article 164(5) of the Withdrawal Agreement and the fifth paragraph of Article 8 of the Protocol,
- Pursuant to Article 166(2) of the Withdrawal Agreement, the decisions adopted by the Joint Committee established under Article 164(1) thereof (‘the Joint Committee’) are binding on the Union and the United Kingdom. The Union and the United Kingdom are to implement such decisions, which have the same legal effect as the Withdrawal Agreement.
- Under Article 182 of the Withdrawal Agreement, the Protocol forms an integral part of that Agreement.
- Point (d) of Article 164(5) of the Withdrawal Agreement empowers the Joint Committee to adopt decisions amending the Withdrawal Agreement, provided that such amendments are necessary to correct errors, to address omissions or other deficiencies, or to address situations unforeseen when the Agreement was signed, and provided that such decisions do not amend essential elements of that
- The Union and United Kingdom recall their shared commitment that the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement of 10 April 1998 between the Government of the United Kingdom, the Government of Ireland and the other participants in the multi-party negotiations (‘the 1998 Agreement’), which is annexed to the British-Irish Agreement of the same date, including its subsequent implementation agreements and arrangements, should be protected in all its parts.
- The Union and the United Kingdom have made a Joint Declaration in the Joint Committee to the effect that, wherever relevant in their dealings under the Withdrawal Agreement, they will, consistent with the requirements of legal certainty, refer to the Protocol as amended as to the “Windsor Framework”, and that they may in the same way refer to the Protocol as amended in their domestic legislation.
- Having regard to the specific circumstances of Northern Ireland, facilitations referred to in Article 6(2) of the Protocol should include specific arrangements for the movement of goods within the United Kingdom’s internal market, consistent with Northern Ireland’s position as part of the customs territory of the United Kingdom in accordance with this Protocol, where the goods are destined for final consumption or final use in Northern Ireland and where the necessary safeguards are in place to protect the integrity of the Union’s internal market and customs union.
- An emergency brake mechanism should be established enabling Members of the Legislative Assembly in Northern Ireland, under each of the conditions set out in paragraph 1 of the Unilateral Declaration by the United Kingdom on involvement of the institutions of the 1998 Agreement annexed to this Decision, to address significant impacts specific to everyday lives of communities arising from the application in Northern Ireland of provisions of Union law, as amended or replaced by future Union
- As regards VAT and excise, having regard to the specific circumstances of Northern Ireland, including its integral place in the United Kingdom’s internal market, certain amendments to Annex 3 to the Protocol should be made. These amendments should not lead to fiscal fraud risks or to any potential distortion of Their implementation in Northern Ireland, and in particular the implementation of the special scheme for distance sales of goods imported from third territories or third countries, should neither create risks to the Union’s internal market, and the United Kingdom’s internal market, nor create undue burdens for businesses operating in Northern Ireland.
- In order to clarify the scope of application of certain acts already listed in Annex 3 to the Protocol, two notes should be added to that In order to ensure that any other notes could be added to that Annex at any point in time, such possibility should be provided in this Decision.
- As regards the movement of goods, Article 5(2) of the Protocol empowers the Joint Committee to adopt decisions establishing the conditions under which processing is not to be considered as commercial processing and the criteria for considering that a good brought into Northern Ireland from outside the Union is not at risk of subsequently being moved into the Union.
- It is desirable to improve the operation of the schemes set out in Joint Committee Decision No 4/2020, including in relation to goods sent in parcels to Northern Ireland from other parts of the United Kingdom, which will enable provision to be made for far reaching facilitations in the area of customs.
- In accordance with Article 175 of the Withdrawal Agreement, the Union and the United Kingdom will take measures necessary to comply rapidly and in good faith with an arbitration panel ruling concerning the conditions for suspension, termination and becoming applicable of provisions of this Decision.
- Joint Committee Decision No 4/2020 should be replaced by Section 2 of this Decision
- As regards the establishment of an enhanced coordination mechanism related to the functioning of the Protocol in the areas of VAT and excise, in accordance with Article 164(5)(c) of the Withdrawal Agreement the Joint Committee may inter alia change the tasks assigned to specialised committees.
- Pursuant to the fourth paragraph of Article 8 of the Protocol, the Joint Committee is to regularly discuss the implementation of this Article, including as concerns the reductions and exemptions provided for in the provisions referred to in the first paragraph of the same Article, and is, where appropriate, to adopt measures for its proper application, as necessary.
- Under the fifth paragraph of Article 8 of the Protocol, the Joint Committee may review the application of this Article, taking into account Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom’s internal market, and may adopt appropriate measures as necessary.
- To ensure the effectiveness of Article 8 of the Protocol and in particular to take account of Northern Ireland’s integral place in the United Kingdom’s internal market, the Union and the United Kingdom should assess in a structured manner any issues arising from the implementation and application of Article 8, including in particular the potential impact on Northern Ireland of any future policy and regulatory initiatives in the Union and the United Kingdom in the areas of VAT and excise concerning goods.
- It is therefore appropriate to establish an enhanced coordination mechanism to allow the Union and the United Kingdom to identify and discuss any issues relating to the functioning of the Protocol in the areas of VAT and excise and propose appropriate action, as necessary. To that end, specific meetings of the Specialised Committee on issues related to the implementation of the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland established by Article 165 (1)(c) of the Withdrawal Agreement should be convened to discuss VAT and excise concerning goods as These meetings will be known as the Enhanced Coordination Mechanism on VAT and excise,