Impact of Brexit on Divorce and Family Law

Brexit’s impact on family law

In the pre-Brexit era, there was an increase in cases involving international family law issues and cross-border cases. Even today, it isn’t unusual for families to be dispersed across multiple countries and own properties abroad. Many children are part of families that travel frequently and live in more than one country.

However, Brexit has surely changed the way families deal with disputes and divorce cases. Here’s how Brexit has impacted family law and divorce:

Brexit’s Impact on Divorce Cases

In a pre-Brexit world, the question of which country a divorce would be issued in was dealt with by a Council Regulation known as Brussels II. Each partner would often race to the court to benefit from the lis pendens rule, which dictates that the first party to issue proceedings at court obtains the court jurisdiction in that country. People often required urgent advice and had to take action right after to secure the best proceedings arena.

However, Brexit certainly changed this ruling. That said, divorces issued before or on 31st December 2020 will follow this rule, and the divorce will be recognized under the Brussels II regulation. However, for divorces filed after the stipulated date, the lis pendens rule has been replaced by a forum conveniens rule, which previously only applied to non-EU countries.

Under this rule, a court has the authority to decline to deal with a divorce case if they deem it to be more convenient or appropriate for a different country to deal with it. This change has certainly led to more prolonged and costly disputes regarding which country should issue the divorce if both parties cannot agree.

Brexit has also impacted another aspect of divorce cases: jurisdictional grounds to bring a divorce. Today, a petitioner can only initiate divorce proceedings in Wales and England if the English court has jurisdiction to handle those proceedings. The removal of Brussels II has altered the definition of the jurisdiction in a divorce petition. These technical points continue to impact divorce applications and make the process more tiresome.

Brexit’s Impact on Children Law

Before Brexit, the Brussels II regulation ensured consistency in international family law disputes as it recognized parental responsibility across EU member states. It also regulated the rules centred on children protection and abduction in the European Union.

However, since Brexit, international children disputes have gotten more complicated. After all, parenting through a separation or divorce isn’t an easy feat when you live in the same country, but things are bound to become a lot more challenging when you add different jurisdictions to the mix.

In a post-Brexit world, the divorcing partners might have to deal with changes in maintenance agreements, custody, access to children, and gaps in the law that Brexit might not have covered. The only way to reduce the length of the litigation process and costs incurred is to seek legal advice right away to proceed down the right path.

The Bottom Line

Brexit’s impact on family law continues to unfold with each passing day as we learn more and more about how the move altered the way couples can file for and fight a divorce case or deal with cases related to the custody and maintenance of their children.

Brexit and the Deportation of EU Citizens

UK Flag

The deportation of EU citizens has been a heated debate in the post-Brexit UK. Many EU residents who have resided in the UK for years faced deportation threats as the UK separated from the EU.

The EU settlement scheme provided EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens and their eligible family members residing in the UK before the transition period ended with the opportunity to protect their residence in the UK after the transition period ends.

While deportation of EU citizens has been a very real concern, both the UK and EU have been taking steps to safeguard the rights of citizens. The latest meeting of the Citizens’ Rights Specialised Committee took place on January 24, 2022. Read on to learn more about it and the discussions on deportation threats to EU as well as UK citizens.

Citizens’ Rights Specialised Committee Meeting 

Following the meeting, which was co-chaired by representatives from the UK government and the European Commission, the UK government and the European Commission issued a joint statement. A number of EU Member State representatives were also present.

The Withdrawal Agreement established the Committee to supervise the implementation and execution of the Citizens’ Rights section of the Withdrawal Agreement, which covers the status of UK nationals in the EU and EU citizens in the UK, as well as their family members.

The UK and the EU discussed the implementation and execution of the Withdrawal Agreement’s Citizens’ Rights section, noting that the final grace periods in the constitutive Member States had now expired. The meeting gave both parties the opportunity to assess any unresolved difficulties.

During the conference, problems about residence were addressed. The EU reiterated their concerns about the compatibility of two aspects of UK implementation with the Withdrawal Agreement:

  • A loss of legal residency if EU citizens fail to apply in time to transition from pre-settled to settled status.
  • A lack of clarity for EU citizens having UK residence status as to whether their rights are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement or by UK immigration law.

The EU highlighted the UK’s stance on these concerns and stated that it will now examine suitable future steps. EU representatives have expressed concerns over the implementation of the UK’s digital-only policy, emphasising the difficulties faced by EU nationals and, in particular, their non–EU family members.

The UK expressed worries about evidencing status in the declaratory Member States. The UK expressed worry that UK nationals are still having difficulty accessing benefits and services, recommending that the EU emphasise the importance of clear instructions in the declaratory Member States. The UK urged the EU to guarantee that all constituent Member States adopted a pragmatic and flexible approach similar to the UK’s.

The Bottom Line 

Both the UK and the EU underlined their common goal of ensuring the proper implementation and execution of the Citizens’ Rights component of the Withdrawal Agreement in both the UK and the EU for the benefit of their citizens. The publishing of a Joint Report on Residence was also addressed, with both the UK and the EU agreeing. The United Kingdom and the European Union have decided to meet again in mid-2022.

 

Brexit In 2022 – What to Expect?

Brexit

After being released from EU commercial and “free movement” regulations, the UK has been implementing its own trade and immigration policies. Changes have an impact on people, travel, and business. In 2022, the government is committed to providing the benefits that Brexit promised.

Brexit in 2022 – Legal Divergence from the EU

In a speech to the House of Lords in September 2021, Lord Frost, then Minister of State, stated the government’s intention to conduct an ongoing assessment of Retained EU law to repeal or alter it. The UK will seek legal divergence from the EU in several industries. Read on to look at some of these areas and the expected results of Brexit in 2022.

Agricultural Sector 

The UK has implemented a new agricultural subsidy regime, which attempts to modify the way agricultural subsidies are distributed. The new approach is meant to reward farmers for their environmental stewardship of the land. These improvements will significantly impact how UK farmers can use their land.

Furthermore, the UK Government’s response to the gene-editing consultation in September 2021 revealed its willingness to move beyond the EU in this area. Accelerated approval pathways for gene-edited crops would encourage more international investment, creating an advantage for the UK as a benefit of Brexit.

Asylum and Immigration

The UK has enacted a new Nationality and Borders Bill, currently making its way through Parliament. This Bill incorporates new immigration, asylum, and nationality laws and penalties for people smugglers. The Bill is designed in part to indicate that the government is following through on the Leave Campaign’s ‘Take Back Control’ slogan, which was centred, at least in part, on border control.

Foreign Direct Investment

The National Security and Investment Act went into effect on January 4th. When combined with amendments to the Takeover Code, it represents a significant shake-up of the UK investment regime, with ramifications for M&A and other transactions. The Act tries to strike a balance between supporting FDI and preventing more UK enterprises in particularly sensitive sectors from falling under ‘foreign’ control and ownership.

Control of State Aid and Subsidies

The government has introduced the Subsidy Control Bill, which will replace the EU-wide state aid legislation. The Bill is still being debated in Parliament and is expected to go into effect later this year.

The Bill represents one of the most major post-Brexit legislative developments. Devolved Administrations and Local Authorities will have the authority to provide subsidies to businesses in order to support the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda and promote more equitable economic growth across the UK. At the same time, it will help avoid ‘bidding wars’ that could result in inefficient relocation of businesses and jobs from one part of the UK to another.

An Overview of Post-Brexit Tension with the EU States 

The UK has begun implementing some import limits on EU products as of January 2022, after repeatedly postponing border checks due to supply chain concerns. London and Brussels have fought over a number of topics, including diplomatic representation, vaccine exports, and, most importantly, new arrangements for Northern Ireland.

Despite being a part of the UK, Northern Ireland continues to obey some EU standards as part of the Brexit divorce agreement in order to maintain an open land border with the Irish Republic, which is an EU member. However, tensions have erupted over the negotiated Northern Ireland Protocol outlining the new procedures.

Post-Brexit tensions have also persisted in Scotland. Tensions between the British and French administrations over fishing licences and migration over the English Channel are also evident.

The Bottom Line 

We can conclude that despite the ongoing tensions, Brexit was not the tragedy that many predicted. There has been a knock to commerce, but that hit may just be transitory. Considering all, the economy has held up fairly well.

Investments are expected to recover further in 2022 – and this is before the government has made any significant effort to capitalise on the benefits of Brexit. The benefits of trade agreements with the rest of the globe will start manifesting.

 

UK Imports: Everything You Need to Know About Pre-Lodgement

UK pre-lodgement model

In the wake of the post-Brexit transitionary period, the UK revamped many of its export and import policies and conventions. Many of the steps that were taken by Great Britain at this time were toward frontier operations and to control the flow of goods from the EU into Great Britain.

In this vein, Great Britain is now using the pre-lodgement model to gain better control over the goods that come into the UK from EU member states. Accordingly, this pragmatic approach to import control has caused the UK to delay the introduction of many imports until complete controls are in place by the beginning of 2022.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about pre-lodgement when importing goods to the UK. If you are a port, wharf, or other frontier operator, who dispatches or receives freight from the EU, this article will help you understand how these changes affect you.

The Pre-Lodgement Model

In advance of goods being boarded on freight on the EU side, traders will be required to submit a customs declaration. According to the pre-lodgement model, the carrier of the goods (train, ferry, or plane operator) must ensure that a declaration has been pre-lodged prior to the good being boarded at the EU departure point.

During the crossing of the goods, HM Revenue and Customs will assess the risk of the lodged declarations, and once the imports have been cleared or not, the operator of the carrier will be informed. Accordingly, this ensures that checks are only carried out when required and that most imported goods will be cleared to continue their journey once they have arrived in the UK.

If the goods in question have not been cleared, however, they will be held by the frontier operators at the relevant location until HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) indicate that the goods are cleared for import.

Import Timeline under the Pre-Lodgement Model

According to the pre-lodgement model of UK imports that is now underway, traders, carriers, and frontier operators will have to follow the following steps:

Step One: Trader

The trader of the goods being imported to the UK must ensure that all EU goods being imported to mainland Britain have had customs declarations submitted in advance of the goods being boarded onto carriers on the EU side.

All customs declarations of goods being imported to the UK from EU states must be made through HMRC-approved IT systems.

Step Two: Carrier

Before boarding the goods on the carrier, the carrier operator must make sure that customs declarations have been submitted for all goods on board.

Step Three: Frontier Locations

In case the frontier location is not mandated for pre-lodgement, the frontier operators must inform carriers that goods should not arrive at the site without pre-lodgement declarations.

Step Four: Goods Released

If goods arriving at the frontier location are selected for checking, they will be subjected to customs compliance activities either at an inland site or the border location in question.

Final Words

In the wake of the post-Brexit transition period, the UK has revamped its policies and regulations concerning imports coming to the UK from EU states. Accordingly, all imports must follow the pre-lodgement model, which is the responsibility of traders, carriers, and frontier operators to carry out.

Exporting Goods from Great Britain: What You Need to Know About CTC Movements

Exporting Goods from Great Britain

In the wake of the Brexit post-transition period, you might be wondering whether you need to use common transit or union transit to export your goods outside of Great Britain.

This article will discuss what CTC movements are and what kind of transit you need to use to export your goods from Great Britain. By the end, you will better understand what is required of you when exporting goods from Great Britain after Brexit.

What are CTC Movements?

CTC stands for common transit conventions, or common transit countries, and is used for moving goods between the countries that are a part of the CTC. This includes all the EU member states, EFTA countries, including Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein, Turkey, Macedonia, and Serbia.

At the time when Great Britain was a member of the EU, the nation was also a part of the CTC. Today, in the post-Brexit period, Great Britain has negotiated membership in the CTC in its own right, even though the nation is no longer a member of the EU.

Therefore, any post-Brexit trading relationship between Great Britain and an EU state will follow the guidelines appropriate to CTC movements. UK-based businesses must declare that they are exporting under CTC, and although the businesses themselves aren’t registered for CTC, Great Britain as a nation is still registered.

Benefits of CTC Movements

If you are wondering why Great Britain was adamant about negotiating membership in the CTC after exiting from the EU, the answer is simple. Multiple benefits come with being a member of the CTC.

As a means of moving goods out of the UK or through EU states, CTC movements allow you to move your goods quickly through foreign customs territories without having to declare your goods multiple times.

Requirements for CTC Movements Out of Great Britain

As a UK-based business, you can use common transit to move your goods to other common transit countries. Below are the steps you need to take as an exporter and as a haulier of goods being exported to CTC members from the UK.

For Exporters

  1. Apply for an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI)
  2. Work out how much transit guarantee you require
  3. Get a transit/customs guarantee
  4. Apply for access to the New Computerised Transit System (NCTS)
  5. Apply for admission to Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF)

For Hauliers

  1. Ensure that you have adequate information regarding the goods in question from the exporter
  2. Ensure that you have all your professional details and can provide them whenever asked

Final Words

Although Great Britain is no longer a member of the EU, the nation has negotiated membership in the CTC on its own terms.

Therefore, UK-based businesses and exporters who are moving their goods outside the UK to other CTC members must follow the steps outlined in this article to move their goods via common transit conventions.

Exit Summary Declaration – What it is and When to Make it?

UK Hauliers

If you are a UK haulier moving goods outside the UK and you haven’t filled out a full customs export declaration, you’ll need to make an exit summary declaration.

Most of the goods exported from the UK are typically covered by a complete export declaration, including safety and security data. Therefore, while an exit summary declaration is not a common requirement for UK hauliers, they are submitted similarly to an export declaration.

This article will discuss what an exit summary declaration is, who must submit one, and when you are required to make it.

What is an Exit Summary Declaration?

An exit summary declaration is documentation that permits a UK haulier to transport goods out of the UK to the EU. The documentation acts in the same way as a full customs export declaration, which is required for the same reason.

As of 1 October 2021, all exports from the UK to the EU will require an exit summary declaration. This change comes as a result of the temporary waiver for safety and security requirements on exports from the UK no longer being recognised.

Who Must Submit an Exit Summary Declaration?

The operator of the means of transport that is being used to export goods outside the UK is required to submit an exit summary declaration. Whether they are driving a road vehicle, a train, or an aircraft, the operator is legally responsible for ensuring that the UK customs authority is provided with complete pre-departure safety and security information.

While you can avail yourself of the option of having an intermediary fill out the exit summary declaration requirement on your behalf, we recommend you do it yourself to avoid any unnecessary hassle.

When to Submit an Exit Summary Declaration

Below are listed the situations that require an exit summary declaration to be submitted:

  • Containers or vehicles are moving under a transport contract require an exit summary declaration.
  • Goods to be exported have been in temporary storage for over a fortnight.
  • Goods to be exported have been in temporary storage for under a fortnight, but details of the import safety and security declaration are unknown.
  • Goods to be exported are moved under transit, and there is no full export declaration.

Lastly, UK hauliers do not require an exit summary declaration when:

  • Goods are being transported to Northern Ireland from Britain.
  • Goods are being transported between Great Britain and Northern Ireland under common transit procedures
  • Exports of electrical energy
  • Goods being transported via pipeline
  • Goods are moving in a traveller’s personal baggage.
  • Empty containers that are not moving under a transport contract.

Final Words

In the wake of the post-Brexit transition period, the UK has had to revamp some of the documentation and permits required by UK hauliers to transport goods to the EU.

To learn more about making an exit summary declaration, check out HM Revenue and Customs’ post on gov.uk here.

Documents and Permits Required by UK Haulier to Access EU States

UK hauliers permits

In the wake of both Brexit and the COVID pandemic, the EU has mandated various changes in the necessary documentation and permits of UK hauliers who require access to states in the European Union. Hauliers and commercial drivers who pick up and move goods between the UK and EU must have the appropriate documentation and permits in order to perform their jobs.

This article will serve as a brief guide regarding UK Haulier documents and UK Haulier permits that are now required by all UK Hauliers in order to access EU states.

Operator Licencing

All UK hauliers who continue to transport goods internationally to the EU will continue to require the relevant operator licence. Starting 1 January 2021, hauliers with community licences will automatically be issued a replacement licence known as the ‘UK Licence for the Community.’

From 1 January 2021 onwards, all UK hauliers must carry a ‘UK Licence for the Community’ with them on board. Notably, possession of this licence alone does not guarantee UK hauliers the right to do business to, from, and within the EU.

ECMT Permits

As of 1 January 2021, UK hauliers transporting goods through or to the EU will require an ECMT permit or European Conference of Ministers Transport Permit. Notably, this permit is not required for all journeys to and through the EU.

The ECMT permit will be required for a handful of journeys, the details of which will depend on the outcome of UK-EU negotiations in the near future.

Motor Insurance Green Card

A Motor Insurance Green Card is an international certificate of motor insurance. This green card is required in the 48 countries that are part of the Green Card Scheme in the EU.

Starting 1 January 2021, UK hauliers are required to carry a Motor Insurance Green Card to drive their freight vehicles into the EU.

GB Sticker

UK Hauliers transporting goods on freight vehicles to the EU are required to display a GB sticker, ideally fixed to the rear of the vehicle and the rear of the trailer. Even if the number plates of the vehicle and trailer include the GB identifier below the EU logo, UK hauliers are still required to display a GB sticker.

Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence

The Transport Manager Certificate of Professional Competence, or Transport Manager CPC, is required documentation for UK hauliers who need to transport goods to or through the EU. Transport managers working for UK operators who already hold this certification do not require additional qualifications.

Notably, however, as of 1 January 2021, UK Transport Manager CPC will not be recognised as valid by EU operators.

Final Words

In a world recovering from the post-Brexit transition period, UK hauliers will need to update their documents, permits, and certifications in order to continue transporting goods to or through the EU.

For more information on the UK haulier documents required after 1 January 2021, visit the Department of Transport’s post on gov.uk here.

Types of Business Crimes and Commercial Frauds You Must Know About

Commercial Frauds

Business crimes and commercial frauds are some of the most common and devious criminal activities taking place today. Although there are many different types of business crimes, they all have one thing in common: the victim suffers a personal and financial loss.

Commercial or consumer frauds involve the use of deceptive and misleading business practises, and while all consumers are at risk of commercial fraud, the most commonly victimised people are senior citizens and college students.

This article will outline different types of commercial frauds so that you know when you are being misled by unethical business practitioners and aren’t deceived into experiencing a financial loss.

Identity Theft

Identity theft is a type of business crime where your personal information is stolen by someone else. This personal information includes your social security number, name, bank account number, and credit card information.

Identity thieves use your personal information to access your bank accounts and finances, typically resulting in the draining of your funds. They can even take out bank loans in your name or use your health insurance to cover their medical bills.

Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage fraud is one of the most common types of commercial fraud taking place today. The FBI annually deals with thousands of such scams, most of which are aimed at distressed homeowners. Mortgage fraud scams involve foreclosure rescue schemes, equity skimming, and loan modification schemes.

Mortgage fraud is typically carried out by mortgage and real estate professionals, who use their authority and specialised knowledge to deceive the victim into releasing their funds. The FBI recommends that homeowners protect themselves against mortgage fraud by avoiding unsolicited advice related to a real estate deal.

Credit and Debit Card Fraud

Credit or Debit card fraud occurs when someone finds or steals your credit or debit card and obtains your personal and bank information. Once they have a hold of this information, the thief can use your card to purchase goods for themselves.

Credit and Debit card fraud is one of the most common types of commercial fraud today. However, you can avoid it by watching out for red flags such as unrecognisable charges on your bank statement or orders from locations you have not visited.

COVID-19 Scams

COVID-19 scams are about as new as the virus itself. These scams came about due to the fast-paced government legislation, which created opportunities for scammers to take advantage of people by using financial need and fear as their main drivers.

If you are contacted by someone regarding a new vaccine or brand new cure or are contacted by someone pretending to be a representative of the CDC or WHO, do not engage them in conversation because they are most probably involved in a COVID-19 scam.

Final Words

With so many different types of business crimes happening today, everyone needs to be on the lookout for misleading and deceptive practises by a person who contacts you and speaks with an air of authority.

For more information on the different types of commercial frauds, visit gov.uk, where you can learn about the signs of fraudulent practises and what you can do to avoid them.