UK’s National Security and Investment Act

On January 4, 2022, the most significant development of the UK’s national security investment screening powers in the past two decades came into effect. The UK’s National Security and Investment (NSI) Act 2021 introduced new powers for the UK government to investigate and, as necessary, intervene in investments and other acquisitions that might pose national security risks to the UK.

The NSI Act is an important part of ensuring investment in the UK can continue with predictability and transparency, while protecting national security. It provides businesses and investors with predictable, legally-defined timelines and processes for decisions on acquisitions. The Act will also align the UK’s investment screening regime with allies – including the US, as it includes many similarities to CFIUS.

The guidance documents published in November and still relevant to investors and can be found here. The guidance covers:

  • What types of acquisitions are covered by the new rules and how the government will scrutinize notified acquisitions
  • What activities carried out by entities are in scope of mandatory notification in the 17 sensitive areas
  • How the Act could affect people or acquisitions outside the UK
  • How to complete and submit a notification form
  • How the Act works alongside regulatory requirements
  • Guidance for the higher-education and research sectors

The NSI online notification service is now live. Businesses and investors are required to use this service to notify HMG of their transactions. The ISU has also published a press release which can be found on the BABCPHL News/Policy tab of our website under the Trade, Investment & Policy News Current Trade and Investment Information subtabs.

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns relating to the NSI Act, and we will direct you to the appropriate person for more information.


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