Updated 1 March 2021

UK Government has announced that a trade deal has been agreed for the UK’s exit from the EU. We are reviewing the deal to understand how changes and new duties will impact our work and the work of our stakeholders. We'll continue to update this page as we know more. 


Environmental standards and protections

Welsh Government has said there will be no change to the level of environmental protection, nor to environmental standards in Wales

UK government had committed to maintaining environmental standards and international obligations from 1 January 2021 stating that the following would continue:

  • the UK's legal framework for enforcing domestic environmental legislation by UK regulatory bodies or court systems
  • environmental targets currently covered by EU legislation - they are already covered in UK legislation

Wales' Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation (Natura 2000 sites) will have the same protections they had when the UK was part of the EU.


Permits and permissions

All permits, licences, consents, registrations, authorisations and exemptions issued by us continue to apply and individuals and operators must comply with any conditions.

In line with our duties and powers we will continue to:

  • issue and regulate permits and licences
  • support regulated operators and individuals to understand and comply with regulations

If you have questions about permits, licences or site management contact our Customer Hub.


Emissions Trading Schemes

New UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS)

A UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) replaced the UK’s participation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) on 1 January 2021.

There are key changes affecting existing permit holders including:

  • conversion of EU ETS permits into either a greenhouse gas emissions permit or a hospital or small emitter permit
  • variation of greenhouse gas emissions permits by mid January 2021 to include conditions on the free allocation of allowances

Converted permits apply to 2021 emissions only. Operators must still comply with their obligations under the EU ETS for the 2020 scheme year, which ends on 30 April 2021.

Find out more about the UK ETS and complying with existing EU ETS obligations.


Changes to the Habitats Regulations 2017

As well as DEFRA, Welsh Government has published an explanation of the operational changes made to the Habitats Regulations 2017 (GOV.WALES). Changes include:

  • renaming of Natura 2000 to the 'national site network'
  • devolution of some European Commission duties to the JNCC


Exceeding limits in radioactive substances permits

If you have difficulty complying with your radioactive substances permit limits due to problems caused by EU exit or Covid 19, read our regulatory decision for radioactive substances.

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