The Department for International Trade has announced that, on 2nd August, a new OGIL was published, replacing the previous version. In effect, the OGIL allows the import into the UK of any goods unless they are covered by one of the many exceptions – when they may require a specific licence or be prohibited or restricted in some way. These prohibitions and restrictions may be under UK or EU law. However, it should be noted that just because goods are covered by the OGIL, this does not mean that there may not be other importation, taxation or legal restrictions, including under relevant EU laws, that may be involved. Whilst most import controls are contained in EU law (at least until the effects of Brexit are felt), EU law does allow that Member States may maintain or impose some national controls in some circumstances and the OGIL is about these national controls. Member States can, for example, impose restrictions on the movements of firearms including (on public security grounds) firearms from elsewhere in the EU. The advantage of the OGIL model is that national measures can be immediately implemented – by adding to the OGIL an exception to the general permission to import. The amendments being made in the new OGIL relate to changes in the control of so-called bumpstocks and rifles with a chamber from which empty cartridge cases are extracted using energy from propellant gas or energy imparted to a spring or other energy storage device by propellant gas. A bumpstock is an attachment that allows a semi-automatic rifle to mimic a fully automatic weapon’s rate of fire.
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