Many readers are asking if Brexit 2020 affects their product compliance programs.
Here’s what the research tells us:
On 31 January 2020 the UK exited the EU as a member state. The UK and EU are in the implementation period in which the “Withdrawal Act” by virtue of the European Union Act of 2020 is in effect.
The act defines the operating parameters for the year 2020 regarding trade, regulations, and cross border provisions. The UK will continue to align with the EU regulations and enforce compliance to the existing laws until 31 December 2020.
This transition affects EU RoHS and EU REACH. Both regulations will be recreated in the UK under the UK’s authority and guidelines by the end of 2020. In addition, the UK will have its own testing, customs, and enforcement bodies to monitor and control compliance to the new regulations. Companies placing products on the market in the UK and/or the EU will need to maintain two distinct compliance programs, as well as poll suppliers for declarations to both the UK and EU laws.
Impacts to CE Marking
During the implementation phase, the CE marking remains the same. A new set of processes and CE documentation will be developed for the UK during 2020. The CE marking for the EU will not apply to the UK in 2021. If your company relies on third party conformity assessments carried out by UK notified bodies, you’ll need to develop a new process for both the EU and the UK. This also applies to companies that self-certify.
Free Movement of Goods
Companies are concerned about the free movement of goods during this transition. This will remain as is until the implementation period is complete. At that time, companies will need to align with the new requirements set forth by the UK government. The free movement of people and goods will cease in 2021 as the UK sets forth its new trade and customs requirements.
Contingency planning for inventories is a must for companies that frequently move materials, parts, or products freely across these borders today. Remember, product compliance is not only about obeying the laws, it is about sourcing, managing your supply chain, and defining competitive advantage. All of which leads to revenue protection.
EU Commission Provides Guidance
Doing business in the EU will change in this post-Brexit world. As such, the European Commission has developed a “Brexit Preparedness Checklist.”
The downloadable guide is available at https://www.eubusiness.com/topics/sme/brexit-preparedness/. This checklist provides a list of topics to consider with regard to placing product on the market in the EU and UK moving forward.
Brexit 2020 and product compliance need to be taken seriously. Businesses that place their products on the UK or the EU markets need to consider what steps to take in order to remain compliant. If your company uses a third party or notified body likely a re-assessment will need to be completed for the new UK requirements. Keep in mind, these organizations will be quite busy during this transition year. Plan ahead and get this completed as early as possible.