Skip to main content

National Security & Investment Act – new rules for businesses and investors

The new UK National Security & Investment Act 2021 comes into effect fully from 4 January 2022.

Businesses and investors should check the guidance to understand:

  • what types of acquisitions are covered by the new rules
  • whether you need to tell the government about an acquisition
  • how the government will scrutinise the acquisition

The Act gives the government powers to scrutinise and intervene in acquisitions that may pose national security risks. It also provides businesses and investors with predictable, legally defined timelines and processes for decisions on acquisitions.

The Act requires particularly sensitive acquisitions to be approved by the government before they are completed. The government will be able to impose certain conditions on an acquisition and, in rare instances, the government may unwind or block an acquisition completely.

The Investment Security Unit – a dedicated hub that sits within the business department – will run the investment screening and provide a single point of contact for businesses wishing to understand the Act and notify the government about acquisitions.

Contact the hub using the email address investment.screening@beis.gov.uk if you have any questions.

The consultation on the NSI Section 3 Statement which sets out the expected use of government’s power to call-in acquisitions where there is a suspected national security risk has now closed and the government is analysing the responses. The final version of the statement and the government response to the consultation will be published this autumn.