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Brexit and industrial product legislation

March 16, 2018

The European Commission has published information relating to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, and the effect it will have on industrial product legislation.

One of the primary effects that the Commission highlights relates more to the remaining 27 Member States, than it does Britain itself: Companies that are currently registered as distributors of products placed on the market by British entities will instead become importers, as Britain will no longer be within the legislative framework of the Union.

The Commission states that post-Brexit (currently envisaged to be March 2019), “a manufacturer or importer established in the United Kingdom will no longer be considered as an economic operator established in the Union. As a consequence, an economic operator established in the EU-27 who, prior to the withdrawal date, was considered as an EU distributor will become an importer for the purposes of Union product legislation in relation to products from a third country that this economic operator places on the EU-27 market as from the withdrawal date.”

It goes on to add that as a result of this change, such entities “will have to comply with the specific obligations relevant to an importer, which are different from those of a distributor.”

Another important change as a result of Brexit is that under current EU legislation, in certain product areas the intervention of a qualified third party is required in the conformity assessment procedure. This third party is known as the Notified Body. The newly published information stipulates that “Union product legislation requires Notified Bodies to be established in a Member State and be designated by a Member State notifying authority for performing the conformity assessment tasks set out in the relevant act of Union product legislation.”

As a result of Brexit, UK-based bodies will lose the ability to be Notified Bodies, and will no longer be on the Commission’s database of such organisations; they will therefore not be eligible to perform conformity assessments tasks, and should Britain attempt to place products onto the European market, it will require some form of partnership with a Member State-based Notified Body that can deliver the certificate on the UK’s behalf.

Similarly, any other companies based within the remaining Member States that have previously used a UK-based Notified Body will be required to seek a different one, as UK-based ones will become ineligible.

These rules and regulations refer to a wide variety of industrial products, including electrical equipment designed for use within a certain voltage.

Categories : Around the Industry

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