On 16 June 2022, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published the first annual report (the Report) in relation to the National Security and Investment Act 2021 (NSI). The Report covers the first three months of the new regime following commencement on 04 January 2022 and gives an early indication of how the NSI has been working in practice. Future annual reports will be published as soon as reasonably practicable after 31 March each year.

The Report notes that during the reporting period (04 January – 31 March 2022):

  • 222 notifications were submitted, of which: 196 were mandatory notifications and 25 were voluntary notifications;
  • the average time for the Investment Support Unit to: (i) acknowledge receipt of a notification was between 4 – 6 working days; (ii) call in a mandatory notification for review once accepted was 24 working days; and (iii) call in a voluntary notification for review once accepted was 23 working days;
  • 17 call in notices have been issued (13 of which were following the submission of a mandatory notification). Mandatory notifications have been received in relation to all 17 sensitive sectors of the economy, with the five most common areas for mandatory notification being: Defence; Military and Dual Use; Critical Suppliers to the Government; Artificial Intelligence and Data Infrastructure; and
  • no final orders (which impose conditions to mitigate national security risks) have been issued and no penalties or criminal sanctions have been imposed.

The report notes that the BEIS is planning to publish further market guidance notes in relation to the NSI in due course. 

National Security and Investment Act 2021: annual report 2022