Now that the EU and UK have separated, we revisit what Brexit means for IT asset disposition (ITAD), data center decommissioning and recycling programs.
On Dec. 24, the European Union (EU) and UK reached a trade agreement formalizing arrangements for the UK’s exit from the EU. The ITAD and recycling industry greeted the news of a new deal with cautious optimism. Let’s Recycle quoted Jacob Hayler from the Environmental Services Association as saying that a Brexit deal, which enables the free flow of goods and materials, “has to be a good thing”.
The UK and EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) came into effect from 2300 GMT on Dec. 31. For the purposes of customers, the UK is now treated as any other non-EU country and custom procedures and formalities now apply to trade between the UK and the EU. In accordance with the agreed Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, EU customs rule and procedures generally continue to apply to goods entering and leaving Northern Ireland.
These will require additional procedures and paperwork from businesses and their logistics providers. Here at Sims Lifecycle Services (SLS) we have been preparing to ensure that we are ready for Brexit. Providing our clients with a seamless and consistent service is our priority and we are working to ensure that your IT asset disposition, customer take back, data center decommissioning and recycling services operate without interruption.
In our previous blog post we discussed the potential implications of Brexit associated with a variety of topics including provision of services, laws and regulations, sustainability and finance. We can now revisit those areas and better assess how they will be impacted in light of the new TCA.
Provision of Services
We identified three core areas of change that Brexit could affect:
- The movement of goods and border crossings,
- The potential for border delays, and
- Employee travel for the delivery of on-site services.
Products being exported and imported between the UK and Europe are now subject to import and export procedures. Customs charges are not changing, but the processes associated with customs clearances have changed. SLS operates ITAD and remarketing services around the globe, servicing our clients across multiple regions. We are using our expertise in importing and exporting both products and commodity materials to ensure that we correctly manage paperwork and processes associated with these transactions. For our clients this means your inbound shipments of materials and resulting sales of second-hand and reprocessed goods, continue uninterrupted.
SLS has customs brokerage services in place and logistics partners engaged who are operating effectively within the new framework. Our teams are trained and up to date on the new TCA and how it impacts our service delivery.
While some delays at UK borders were expected and have been reported these have not impacted the categories of goods that SLS processes and sells. Our international logistics partners have ensured that logistics movements continue as normal.
The new TCA has clarified regulations regarding UK nationals working in the EU and vice versa, with restrictions on the number of days that UK nationals can work in the EU. This will have no impact on SLS services. SLS employs qualified and trained personnel in the UK and throughout the EU, capable of delivering standardized on-site services. This allows us to continue to deliver on-site services with the same high standards and regularity that you are used to.
Laws and Regulations
The TCO confirms the expected adoption of European legislation into UK law that we discussed in our December Brexit Blog. The provisions of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) requirements will apply to post Brexit UK, with the “whole body” of existing EU laws being safeguarded into UK legislation.
The movement of waste between the UK and EU continues under the Basel Convention regulations, with the UK being treated as any other OECD country signed up to the Basel Convention. Some additional paperwork applies as expected, and additional movement documentation is required under the Northern Ireland Protocol.
To deliver your global ITAD, takeback and recycling programs, SLS operates a combination of owned and accredited subcontractor sites, including locations in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and the EU, ensuring that we can deliver ITAD, data center and recycling services post-Brexit.
The UK government will replicate the majority of the EU’s Circular Economy Package (CEP) into UK law aligning waste and environmental policies. 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 will change as a result of Brexit and the TCO. Our finance teams are working with our export specialists to understand and manage these changes, ensuring absolute compliance, and an auditable record of transactions and VAT treatments.
We are working with you in the UK, in Europe, and around the world.
In December we said, “Deal or no deal, you can rest assured that SLS is ready to deliver your IT and data center lifecycle services in the new legislative landscape”. While we work to comprehensively understand the detail of the TCO and what it means for our business and yours, we remain committed to delivering the same globally standardized services that you rely upon. SLS will deliver ITAD and recycling services that return value, is sustainable, secure, and compliant in the UK, Europe and throughout the world.