Preparing for Brexit: EU legislative proposals announced

In the latest EU preparedness work, the European Commission has published a slide pack on the state of preparedness for mobility. This describes the current position, lists those actions which have already been taken, and names a number of further actions that the Commission plans to take.

This is from a ‘Brexit Preparedness seminar on transport’, held by Task Force 50 on Thursday. It looked at aviation safety, aviation security, air access, road, rail and maritime mobility. For the first time, the slides announced that the Commission will undertake to make the following legislative changes as EU-wide contingency measures:

  • For air services, the Commission will propose a Regulation to ensure basic connectivity for EU-UK flights on the basis of reciprocity.
  • For aviation safety, the Commission will propose a Regulation to ensure the continued validity of type certificates & organisation approvals, for a limited period of time on the basis of reciprocity; and for the continued validity of UK-certified parts and appliances placed on the EU market before the withdrawal date.
  • For aviation security, the Commission will adopt an implementing act to include the UK on the list for the One Stop Security system, and air cargo carriers flying from the UK into the EU will not need third country designation status to operate under the EU regime.

Although it was known that there would be a ‘bare bones’ agreement to ensure basic aviation connectivity, there was much less certainty for aviation safety over the continued validity of certificates and approvals. And for aviation security, UK passengers, baggage and cargo will not be subjected to further security checks when transferring at EU airports – which is another unanticipated decision by the Commission. These are greatly encouraging steps, and go some way towards providing further assurances for industry – if not yet the detail.

Road freight was also referred to, although the message was less positive here. The EU recognises that the available quotas for road hauliers, under the Geneva and Vienna conventions on road transport, will be insufficient to meet current demand. However, no further announcements have been made asides from the publication of the various notices to stakeholders.

As the Withdrawal Date gets closer, there may be further decisions announced by the Commission. It is important to qualify that these are unilateral decisions, and not the product of joint workings on preparedness measures by the EU and UK. ADS has been arguing that, particularly in the realm of aviation safety, the two parties and their regulatory agencies need to engage in joint planning work to ensure a reliable and robust transition.