A newly-adopted EU law, the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRMA), will affect exports to the EU and to Northern Ireland of a wide range of machinery when it comes into force. 

The UK government notes that the CRMA will come into force in two-to-three years’ time and includes new labelling requirements regarding permanent magnets, including details of responsible individuals and magnetic composition.  Goods covered include magnetic resonance imaging devices, wind energy generators, industrial robots, motor vehicles, cooling generators, heat pumps, electric motors (including where electric motors are integrated in other products), washing machines, microwaves and vacuum cleaners.

The CRMA is now subject to scrutiny at Stormont, under the Windsor Framework.

The EU says: “The CRMA introduces clear deadlines for permit procedures for EU extracting projects, allows the Commission and member states to recognise a project as strategic, requires supply-chain risk assessments, requires member states to have national exploration plans and ensures the EU’s access to critical and strategic raw materials through ambitious benchmarks on extraction, processing, recycling and diversification of import sources.

“We want to turn the challenges of our dependencies into strategic autonomy and an opportunity for our economy. This legislative act will boost our mining sector, enhance our recycling and processing capacities, create local and good quality jobs, and ensure that our industry is up and ready for the digital and green transitions.

“The final text adopted today identifies two lists of materials (34 critical and 17 strategic) that are crucial for the green and digital transitions, as well as for the defence and space industries. The CRMA establishes three benchmarks for the EU’s annual consumption of raw materials: 10% from local extraction; 40% to be processed in the EU and 25% to come from recycled materials,” the EU says.

The CRMA past its final legislative hurdle this week, when it was adopted by the EU Council.

The UK government is inviting comment and queries.  It is evolving its own strategy for critical raw materials and broader resilience and likely to be considering whether or not to adopt similar procedures to the EU’s.

We welcome feedback and queries from members, in confidence, which we will pass on the Department for Business and Trade.





To top