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The National Security and Investment Act 2021: guidance on “notifiable acquisitions” and the notification and assessment process

Last week the government published new guidance on “notifiable” acquisitions under the National Security and Investment Act 2021 (NSI). This welcome guidance sets out the types of relevant activities in each of the 17 sensitive areas of the economy (listed below) which will trigger a mandatory notification to government on a proposed acquisition or investment.

Advanced Materials

Advanced Robotics

Artificial Intelligence

Civil Nuclear


Computing Hardware

Critical Suppliers to Government

Cryptographic Authentication

Data Infrastructure



Military and Dual-Use

Quantum Technologies

Satellite and Space Technologies

Suppliers to the Emergency Services

Synthetic Biology


Further welcome clarification was also provided on what to expect when an acquisition is being reviewed and assessed, including guidance on submitting a notification under the NSI; the review and assessment process; compliance and enforcement; and contacting the government's dedicated Investment Security Unit (which sits within the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides a single point of contact for businesses wishing to understand the NSI and notify the government about transactions).

Guidance on how to register for the online notification form service and complete notification forms remains to be "published closer to full commencement".

The National Security and Investment Act comes into force on 4 January 2022. It allows the government to scrutinise and intervene in certain acquisitions made by anyone, including businesses and investors, that could harm the UK’s national security.


corporate, regulatory