Brexit – To date
Due to the uncertainty of the political situation of Brexit, and as with any other Notified Body, CEM International cannot make any guarantees with respect to the future and the implications of Brexit.
At this moment, the certification process is continuing as usual as the date of the Brexit negotiation has been extended to the 31st of October 2019. Looking to the future beyond this date there are three possible situations:
- The UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement is ratified on or before 31 October 2019. In this case certification should then continue as usual during the Implementation Period which is likely to last until at least December 2020. It is expected that Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) will be agreed during this time to allow the continued functioning of UK Notified Bodies after December 2020; or
- Article 50 is revoked, and the UK remains in the EU; or
- The UK leaves the EU without a deal on or before 31 October 2019 (“No Deal” Brexit).
To prepare for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, the UK and Scottish governments are preparing laws which allow for the UK’s new position outside the EU. These new laws will take immediate effect in the event of a no-deal exit.
The draft amendments to the current UK regulations on conformity assessment were recently published in a series of draft Statutory Instruments. They propose that the UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA) Mark will replace the CE Mark in future for product placed on the UK market.
The CE mark will continue to be required for products being sold within the EU so most manufacturers will want to apply both the UKCA Mark and the CE Mark. The technical standards for products will remain the same in the UK as in the EU for the foreseeable future so in practice applying the UKCA mark will not require any technical changes to products. The UK government has also said that it will continue to accept the CE mark as equivalent to the UKCA mark until a date which has yet to be announced so most manufacturers will not need to make any immediate changes to their products or conformity assessment procedures.
Draft amendments to the statutory instruments related to product safety are detailed below:
- Omit “CE Mark” and substitute “UK CA Mark”;
- the Secretary of State will authorise designated standards instead of the current EU “Official Journal”;
- Omit the definition of “harmonised standard” substitute “designated standard”
- Omit the definition of “EU declaration of conformity”; substitute “declaration of conformity”;
- Omit the definition of “Union harmonisation legislation” substitute “statutory requirements”;
- Omit “EU-type” in each place where it occurs; substitute “Type”;
- Manufacturer’s authorised representatives must be established in the United Kingdom;
- “Importer” means a person who is established in the United Kingdom and places equipment from a country outside of the United Kingdom on the market;
- Instructions and safety information must be clear, legible and in easily understandable English;
- “Designated standard” means a technical specification which is adopted by a recognised standardisation body, for repeated or continuous application, with which compliance is not compulsory;
- Omit competent national authorities of any other member State;
- The Secretary of State must:
- Assign an Approved Body Identification Number to each Approved Body;
- List the activities for which they have been approved; and
- List any restrictions on those activities.
CEM International will become a UK Approved Body and will be able to certify items for the UK market and for export to countries outside the EEA.
As a contingency plan, CEM International has established an office in Ireland with the intention that the Company can continue to provide its services as a Notified Body should there be no deal. The Irish office is seeking Notified Body status through the local accreditation body.
Overall, we are confident in our ability to continue to provide an uninterrupted service to our customers so they can meet the legislative requirements for placing products on the EU and UK markets. For further and up-to-date information on the impact of Brexit to your product please contact us.