Last updated: 29 March 2018

Bird & Bird's EU Legislation Tracker highlights Regulations and Directives scheduled to take effect or to be implemented by Member States in the period prior to the UK's departure from the EU. It does not provide an exhaustive survey. Instead, we have sought to summarise some of the key legislation, both draft and finalised, which we are tracking in the run up to Brexit and which are likely to be of interest to companies which do business in the UK and/or elsewhere in Europe.

The Tracker includes a short commentary on the substance of each of the measures identified, and a timeline for their known or likely effective dates (for Regulations) or implementation deadlines (for Directives). These are colour coded by reference to the likely date of Brexit.

For the purposes of the Tracker, we have assumed that the UK will exit the EU two years from its service of the Article 50 notice (i.e. on 29th March 2019). However, a transitional period is expected to follow, until the end of 2020, during which the UK will be required to continue to align its laws with those of the EU Single Market and Customs Union. It is currently expected that the EU Withdrawal Bill will be enacted with effect from the exit date and that the resulting Act will retain all EU Regulations (and statutory instruments implementing EU Directives) in UK domestic law. However, the Act is also expected to enable amendments to such Regulations by statutory instruments during a two-years period, and this process will determine the final form, in UK domestic law, of such legislation now summarised in our Tracker.


Implementation status 
  Implementation deadline/effective date likely to be pre-Brexit
  Implementation deadline/effective date likely to be post-Brexit
Timeline   EU legislation

Takes effect: 

[Target Q4 2018 / Q1 2019]


Proposed Regulation on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council 

European Parliament Procedure Reference: 2015/0277(COD)

  • The proposed revision of the Basic Regulation (No. 216/2008 as amended), which sets out the aviation safety framework at EU level, is part of the European Commission's Aviation Strategy to enhance the competitiveness of the EU aviation sector.
  • The proposal introduces:
    • risk- and performance-based rules which can target regulatory activity where it is most needed;
    • a limited extension of the remit of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to include ground handling service providers, all unmanned aircraft (remotely piloted aircraft systems or RPAS) and security aspects of aircraft and aviation systems' design, including cybersecurity;
    • Aviation Safety Programmes and Plans for Aviation Safety at both EU and Member State level;
    • extended powers of the Commission (assisted by EASA) to adopt detailed implementing rules (and reduces the powers conferred on the European Parliament in that regard);
    • enhanced governance mechanisms for EASA; and
    • provisions to support cooperative oversight between Member States and permit the transfer of responsibilities; and provisions on information sharing and, in particular, setting up of a central repository of licensing information.
  • The package has now undergone several rounds of trilogue. The first two trilogues produced some areas of tentative agreement, for example acceptance of third-country certification was close to being agreed. The third trilogue, held on 6 June 2017, was intended to achieve compromise on the main outstanding issues from the first two trilogues, for example on joint responsibility between Member States for the performance of the tasks related to certification, oversight and enforcement. However, it became clear in early June that the Parliament and the Council are wide apart on the core issues of the proposal, with the Parliament issuing new compromise proposals on 1 June that covered the whole Regulation. Council and Parliament have now informally agreed a final compromise text. The next step will be a vote on the proposal by the European Parliament; according to the Parliament's forecast (available here), the indicative date for the sitting is 12 June 2018. Given recent progress, it is likely this will come into effect pre-Brexit (by Q4 2018/Q1 2019).

Brexit impact:

  • The effect of much of the Regulation could, theoretically, be preserved in the Great Repeal Bill, by applying its standards to aviation in the UK.
  • If that were the case, but the UK were todecide not remain a part of the EASA structure, it would need to re-establish the capability of the CAA so as to have the resources to administer the rules in the UK.
  • The UK government has made clear that "market access remains a top priority and we want to make sure we have liberal access to European aviation markets" (Joint statement between the UK Government and Airlines UK, 14 November 2016). Retaining market access would almost certainly require continued membership of EASA and adoption of its standards. The Basic Regulation (in its original form and under the proposed amendment) contemplates non-EU Member States being full members of EASA, but such membership has to be negotiated – it is a possibility, but not a right.

Other information:

Commission's proposal (7 December 2015):

TRAN Committee's Report (amended version published 19 December 2016)

Council's general approach (published 2 December 2016)

Joint statement from the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, the Secretary of State for Transport and the Chief Executive of Airlines UK, 14 November 2016

Bird & Bird - Implications of Brexit on Aviation:

Information from the Presidency on the state of play on 6 June 2017

Takes effect: TBC


European Commission proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament establishing a Union certification system for aviation security screening equipment

European Parliament Procedure Reference: 2016/0236(COD)

In late 2016, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation establishing a certification system for aviation security screening equipment. The proposal seeks to establish an EU certification system which would be based on "EU type-approval and issuance of a certificate of conformity by manufacturers, which would be valid in all Member States, according to the principle of mutual recognition".

Brexit impact:

This proposal is still in the early stages and is currently awaiting a committee vote (scheduled for 19 June 2018) before going through the trilogue process. It is difficult to predict when this proposal will be adopted (if at all), but is unlikely to be pre-Brexit.

Other information:

European Parliament's procedure file

Bird & Bird's EU Legislation Tracker 
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