Is your company ready for Brexit?
New Approach Directives
March 29, 2019 is a critical date for trading goods regulated under the CE marking ‘New Approach Directives’ if there’s no Brexit deal. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, the requirements for placing products on the UK and EU markets, including the arrangements for conformity assessment of products, marking and labelling, will change.
The EU has taken the decision to adopt a different approach to goods regulation in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019. In general terms the EU will cease to recognize regulatory compliance activity carried out in the UK as valid, for goods being placed on the EU market. This does not mean that UK manufacturers will have to cease placing goods on the EU market. UK manufacturers who sell into the EU will still be able to do so as long as they continue to meet EU regulatory requirements such as the CE marking directives.
After March 2019 if there is no deal, goods already placed on the market by 29 March 2019 will be able to continue to circulate in the UK. Additionally, goods made and assessed against EU regulatory requirements can continue to be placed on the UK market after 29 March 2019. This is intended to be for a time-limited period. The goods must comply with the appropriate EU conformity marking for example the CE marking, be accompanied with the EU Declaration and if applicable be assessed by a EU recognized body.
It is expected that UK notified bodies will lose their status as notified bodies in the EU. This means that after 29 March 2019 the results of conformity assessment carried out by UK conformity assessment bodies will no longer be recognized in the EU. This means that products assessed by a body that was prior to exit by a UK notified body, will probably have to be re-assessed by an EU recognized conformity assessment body. Or, alternatively, the manufacturer may seek to arrange for their files to be transferred to an EU-recognized body pre-exit.
Assumed is that after the transition period it will be accepted that the UK will remain and follow the customs union code regulation which lays down general rules and procedures applicable to goods brought into or taken out of the customs territory. The goods must then comply to the European regulations for custom procedures.
Where CE marking is based on self-declaration of conformity by the manufacturer, self-declaration will still be possible, including when exporting to the EU if and when products are in compliance with EU regulations and are CE marked.
It is expected that manufacturers selling goods into the UK market will then be able to affix a new UK conformity marking before placing a product on the UK market. Rules around affixing the new UK conformity marking will mirror those which currently apply for the application of the CE marking.
After March 2019, to compensate for the recognized European CE Marking for products the UK authorities are busy developing the new UK safety symbol the UKCA or “UK Conformity Assessment” for certain products in the UK market. This could result in Goods made in the UK which are exported to the European Union may have to be stamped with two marks – CE for EU markets and UKCA for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Technical & Legal Brexit Experts
With regard to the uncertainty of the Brexit regarding product compliance the international technical and legal experts at Certification Experts works closely with authorities to support companies with regard to governmental UK and European developments. We offer practical custom made solutions based on the companies situation regarding the Deal or no Deal in March 2019.
Source: UK Government Department Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy