As negotiations continue and attempts to broker a trade deal between the EU and UK enter the final stages, staff at Sims Lifecycle Services (SLS) are continuing to monitor progress and review our preparations to ensure that we are ready for Brexit. Our objective is to continue to provide the seamless lifecycle services that our clients expect, avoiding any disruption to your supply chains, data security and environmental obligations and financial transactions.
Brexit is a process, not a single step, and it is important to understand which stage we are at right now. Last January, the EU Parliament approved the UK Withdrawal Agreement. The UK and the EU then entered into the “transition period”, a time intended to allow legislators and organizations to agree how all areas affected by the UK’s departure from the EU would look after December 31, 2020.
What does this mean for your IT and Data Center Decommissioning and Disposition Programs?
There are several elements of Brexit, with a trade deal in place or not, which can potentially impact your programs. As the details of ongoing negotiations emerge, these issues may change. You can rest assured that the negotiations and overall situation are being monitored by a dedicated team here at SLS, whose priority is to minimize disruption to your services and related financial transactions.
Provision of Services
There are three main Brexit implications that could have an effect on how we provide services; the movement of goods and border crossings, the potential for border delays, and employee travel for the delivery or onsite services.
Goods moved between the EU to the UK will be considered imports or exports and will follow the same procedures as the imports that we currently manage from non-EU countries. The way in which we move goods will not change, however the documentation and customs processes required will change.
SLS has worked to ensure that appropriate customs brokerage services are in place and ready for January 1, 2021. Logistics personnel at SLS have been engaged in training with our customs and logistics subcontractors to understand and be ready to use their online systems allowing us to offer our services as normal in the event of a trade deal and a no-deal Brexit.
Amid widely reported concerns about potential delays at UK borders, SLS has taken measures to mitigate the risk of service delays. SLS works with leading international logistics partners who also operate as customs brokers and are preparing extensively for the changes that Brexit will bring.
From January 1, 2021, all goods entering the customs territory of the EU (or vice versa) will be subject to any applicable regulatory compliance checks and controls, regardless of whether a trade agreement is reached or not. SLS has completed the appropriate registrations needed to continue the movement of goods throughout the EU.
Because SLS has employees in the UK and throughout the EU trained to deliver on-site services, we do not foresee any delays to your service delivery because of staffing.
Laws and Regulations
Brexit will bring with it changes to legislation. Some elements of European legislation will be incorporated into UK law and remain the same, some will change. It is understood that the core legislation required for compliant IT Asset Disposition and Data Center services will be incorporated into UK law as it currently stands.
The provisions of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are being incorporated into UK data protection law, and regulations have been passed to ensure that technical amendments to GDPR will still apply in a UK-only context. In practical terms, there will be little change to the key data protection principles, rights and obligations in the GDPR for the UK going forward. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will continue to govern the UK’s data protection legislation, and we will closely follow their guidelines and best practice recommendations.
The information available at present indicates that Brexit will not affect Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) requirements and regulations. On March 30, 2017, UK government ministers announced that all EU environmental laws will apply to post-BrexitUK. The “whole body” of existing EU Environmental Laws will be safeguarded in UK law.
From January 1, 2021, there will be new arrangements for the movement of waste between the UK and the EU. The UK is a party to the Basel Convention and a member of the OECD so will be treated in the same way as any other OECD country, or any country party to the Basel convention that intends to export waste to an EU country. Current waste shipments procedures will still apply. However, in addition, the UK/EU will become an exporter and will be required to complete waste notification and waste movement forms and copies with the Customs Office of Entry into the UK/EU.
The Northern Ireland Protocol will require additional movement documentation to move waste from Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) into Northern Ireland. There will be no change to the controls on the transport of waste from Northern Ireland to the EU at the end of the transition period.
SLS utilizes a combination of owned sites and accredited subcontractor sites to deliver your services. This combination ̶ including locations in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and the EU ̶ allows us to deliver post-Brexit ITAD and recycling services in line with existing SOWs and SLAs, as well as any of your evolving needs.
The UK government recently agreed to transpose parts of the EU’s Circular Economy Package in national law ahead of Brexit. This package is key to pushing forward sustainability requirements into electronics production and distribution, including “right to repair” legislation and targets on minimizing landfill.
VAT services and treatment of VAT may change in the event of a trade deal agreement. Our finance teams will manage any changes, utilizing our existing experience moving goods between EU and non-EU countries.
UK VAT numbers are expected to be removed from the VIES Validation Service. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is developing a new system for UK VAT numbers. Clients paying or invoicing Sims Group UK Ltd will need to update the information held in their finance systems.
We’re with you, every step of the way
Deal, or no-deal, you can rest assured that SLS are ready to deliver your IT and data center lifecycle services in the new legislative landscape. As the situation continues to evolve and mature a well-defined, systematic program to manage the disposition of retired IT assets is key to protecting your data, controlling your assets, maximizing value recovery and meeting regulatory and corporate risk management requirements.