The National Security and Investment Act 2021 received Royal Assent on 29 April and provides for a new investment screening system to help protect our national security. Today I am publishing three sets of documents related to the Act: a consultation on the draft statement on the use of the call-in power (made under section 3 of the Act), the draft notifiable acquisition statutory instrument and guidance documents on the Act.
I am announcing today that the commencement date for the sections of the Act not already commenced will be 4 January 2022.
Statement on the use of the call-in power
This statement (a draft of which was previously published as the “Statement of Policy Intent”) sets out how the Secretary of State expects to use the call-in power under the Act. The call-in power enables the Government to screen qualifying acquisitions for national security risks. During the Parliamentary passage of the Act, the Government committed to consult on this statement and I am launching the consultation today. The consultation is available on Gov.uk and will be open until 11.59pm on 30th August.
Draft notifiable acquisition statutory instrument
The draft notifiable acquisition statutory instrument sets out the proposed descriptions of the 17 sectors of the economy that would be captured under the mandatory notification requirements set out in the National Security and Investment Act 2021. The Government has previously consulted on the mandatory notification sectors and published a response in March 2021. The draft sector definitions have been refined in response to stakeholder feedback and the draft statutory instrument has been published today on gov.uk to update businesses and investors about mandatory notification requirements.
I have today published the first set of guidance documents on the Act. The guidance will build understanding and awareness for all parties who may be affected by the Act and who may need to comply with its provisions. The Government has tested and refined these documents with an expert panel of industry representatives, which includes business representative organisations, higher education bodies, investment associations and other stakeholders, who provided important feedback.
These guidance documents are: an overview of the Act, explaining what types of acquisitions are covered, whether parties need to tell the Government about an acquisition and how the Government will investigate an acquisition; the extraterritorial application of the Act; how the Act works alongside other regulatory bodies and market practices; and guidance for Higher Education Institutions and other Research organisations.