CoGDEM and Brexit

Updated 23 /12/20

This document summarises statements from the government, BSi and CSA. This is not exclusive and you are advised to read the guidance documents listed on the last page and to go to websites including BSi, CSA, UL and www.gov.uk and Existing UK trade agreements with non-EU countries - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) for further information. If you find any errors or wish to add information to help others, then please email your updates to admin@cogdem.org.

UKCA Mark

It is not yet known how to obtain a UKCA certificate. A UKCA declaration of conformity will need to be prepared (it is a mirror of the EU declaration). The link below is the UK government’s statement.

With regards to UKCA, a popular opinion held by European Notified Bodies is that there will be a Mutual Recognition Agreement, either on acceptance of certificates or of UKCA in the EU or CE in the UK.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-ukca-mark-from-1-january-2021

Text from government Guidance Documents about UKCA follows.

Assessment through third-party organisations From 1 January 2021, equipment and protective systems that are conformity assessed by a UK approved body should be UKCA marked, not CE marked. If the conformity assessment was carried out by a UK notified body and the CE marking was affixed to the fully made product before 1 January 2021, the CE marking can still be used. But it can only be placed on the GB market and must be placed on the GB market before 31 December 2021. Where the product has been assessed by an EU notified body, manufacturers must continue to use the CE marking for products and can continue to place those products on the GB market until 31 December 2021. Qualifying Northern Ireland goods complying with the legislation as it applies in Northern Ireland, including affixing the CE marking, may be placed on the GB market after 31 December 2021.

Rules around physically affixing the new UKCA marking mirror those which currently apply for the application of the CE marking although, until 31 December 2022, the UKCA marking may be affixed to a label affixed to the product, or a document accompanying the product, rather than being affixed to the product itself (even where it is otherwise possible to affix it to the equipment itself). Self-declaration Manufacturers selling goods on the GB market can affix the new UKCA marking before placing a product on the GB market. CE marking based on self-declaration of conformity with EU rules by the manufacturer is still possible until 31 December 2021 for the GB market. It will also be possible to affix both the UKCA marking and the CE marking to the same product on the basis of self-declaration, as long as the EU and GB requirements remain the same. When selling to the EU or placing on the NI market, the CE marking remains mandatory.

Importers and distributors

(from UK government Guidance Documents)

A key principle underpinning product safety, for the benefit of consumers and regulators, is traceability of a product back to its source. Text from government guidelines follows:

If selling to EU based distributors, they will now be classed as importers and have extra responsibilities with regards to compliance.  Mandated authorised representatives for the GB market can be based in GB or Northern Ireland but after 1 January 2021 cannot be based outside the UK. A manufacturer can only mandate an authorised representative established in the UK under the Regulations as they apply in GB. No GB-based authorised representatives are recognised under EU law. This means GBbased authorised representatives cannot carry out tasks on the manufacturer’s behalf for products being placed on the Northern Ireland or EEA markets.

UK businesses which used to act as a ‘distributor’ before the end of the transition period legally become an ‘importer’ if they place products from an EEA country on the GB market. This includes equipment and protective systems that are supplied to NI businesses from the EEA and then placed on the GB market.

To assist with the transition, the UK is applying a transitional period ending 31 December 2022 to allow those UK operators who import goods from the EEA or Switzerland (who from 1 January 2021 are importers) into the GB market to provide their details on the accompanying documentation or packaging as an alternative to placing them on the product itself.

The EU does not have any such transitional provision. In the absence of this, equipment and protective systems being sold from GB to NI or the EEA must be labelled with the NI or EU-based importer’s address.

UK businesses which were distributors of goods within the EU single market should now consider whether they are importers from the EU single market and therefore what additional requirements they need to comply with.

If you have already placed an individual fully manufactured product on the EEA or the UK market (either in Northern Ireland or Great Britain) before 1 January 2021, you do not need to do anything new. These individual goods can continue to circulate on either market until they reach their end user and do not need to comply with the changes that take effect from 1 January 2021. A fully manufactured good is ‘placed on the market’ when there is a written or verbal agreement (or offer of an agreement) to transfer ownership or possession or other rights in the product. This does not require physical transfer of the good.

UK government statement on standards

(updated 18th December 2020)

See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/designated-standards

Many businesses currently use European harmonised standards to provide a presumption of conformity with the relevant EU laws. Immediately after the end of the transition period, the essential legal requirements that businesses must meet will be the same as they are now. All harmonised standards that give a presumption of conformity to EU law at the end of the transition period will become ‘designated standards’ by the references being published on GOV.UK. Businesses will be able to use designated standards to provide presumption of conformity with GB law. Harmonised standards will remain the relevant standards for placing goods on the Northern Ireland market where EU rules will continue to apply.

From 1 January 2021, when deciding if a standard is appropriate for designation, the government will check how far the standard covers the various essential requirements set out in the relevant legislation. The government may decide not to designate or to designate with restriction. Any such restrictions will be described on the GOV.UK pages, and businesses should check frequently.

In the interests of transparency, the government will, for 28 days, make publicly available a notice of proposal to publish references to standards. Interested parties may object to the publication within the 28-day timeframe. The references to the standards will be published for the purposes of designation of the standards on the 29th day unless the notice is withdrawn or amended before that date.

Approved Bodies and Examination Certificates

Existing UK notified bodies have been granted new UK ‘approved body’ status and are listed on a new UK database. They do not need to seek re-accreditation in order to benefit from UK approved body status. These approved bodies retain their 4-digit identification number.
EU type examination certificates need to be transferred to an EU based notified body to remain valid from 1/1/21.

Standards and Standards committees

BSI is now classed as a non-EEA member of CEN and CENELEC since 1st July 2020 and BSI's membership of CEN and CENELEC has been guaranteed until the end of 2021. BSI is confident its membership will continue beyond that time.

BSI’s continues as a member of ETSI; BSI’s voting on ETSI ENs has also moved to the non-EEA category. BSI’s membership of ISO and IEC is not affected by the UK’s exit from the EU.

Guidance Documents

These documents with their links below should be read carefully. are much the same for most for the text, except for sections 2:Legislative Background, and 3: Scope.               
General Product Safety 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935728/Guide-to-gps-regulations-2005.pdf

ATEX                       
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935730/Guide-to-atex-regulations-2016.pdf

Electrical Safety
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935731/Guide-to-electrical-equipment-regulations-2016.pdf

EMC                        
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935732/Guide-to-emc-regulations-2016.pdf

Radio                      
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935733/Guide-to-radio-equipment-regulations-2017.pdf

Gas Appliances   
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935734/Guide-to-gas-appliances-regulations-2018.pdf

Pressure Equipment 
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935739/Guide-to-pressure-equipment-regulations-2016.pdf

Craft 
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935740/Guide-to-recreational-craft-regulations-2017.pdf