European Statutory Instruments Committee publishes twenty-first report
18 March 2021
Following the Committee's meeting on Tuesday 16 March, its twenty-first report of Session 2019-21 has been published.
The Committee agreed that the affirmative procedure should apply to the ‘Introduction and the Import of Cultural Goods (Revocation) Regulations 2021’.
The purpose of this instrument is to revoke EU Regulation 2019/880 on the introduction and import of cultural goods. In the explanatory memorandum the following rationale is given for revocation: “The general prohibition provision in Article 3(1) of the Regulation has become legally deficient, as it applies to the “introduction of cultural goods” which is defined in Article 2(2) of the Regulation as “entry into the customs territory of the Union”. This refers to the customs territory of the EU, and cannot be interpreted to mean the customs territory of the United Kingdom”.
The committee was concerned that, although the explanatory memorandum refers to the UK’s commitments at international law, it does not detail any provisions enforceable in domestic law that are equivalent to Article 3. The Committee therefore concluded that the effect of the revocation, and whether it creates gaps in domestic legal prohibitions, is a matter for debate. The decision to revoke rather than amend the regulation is a political decision. The Committee believes that the issue is of sufficient political importance to justify the scrutiny and debate afforded by affirmative procedure.
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