Eurofins | Newsflash - March 2019 | Brexit: Toys & Childcare
Friday, March 8, 2019
BREXIT: the countdown
On 29th March 2017, the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) submitted the notification of its intention to withdraw from European Union (EU) according to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The UK is due to leave the EU on 29th March 2019, at 12 pm UK time, and it will then become a third country not member of the EU. EU legislations will cease to apply in the UK. Currently, UK and EU are still negotiating a Withdrawal Agreement.
Both the European Commission and the United Kingdom make available on their websites the latest news about the on-going negotiations and information about the worst case scenario, ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario.
On 19th February 2019, the European Commission published: “Political declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom (2019/C 66 I/02)”
If you are a manufacturer, importer, distributor, responsible person, retailer or consumer, it is important that you are aware of the possible ‘no deal’ Brexit scenario in which you may need to adopt different roles and obligations from the current ones.
A brief summary has been included below for different sectors and how could the fact of not having an agreement between UK and EU affect them:
Toys fall within the ‘new approach’ set of legislation. As such, most of the toys on the market are self-certified by the manufacturer and CE mark attached to labelling on that basis.
The current system of EU Notified Bodies is required when there are hazards identified on the toy that are not fully covered by the harmonised standards.
If the UK exits without a deal, UK Notified Bodies will not be recognised by the EU and, as such, conformity assessments they have made will no longer be valid for products to be placed on the EU.
The files can be transferred to an EU based Notified Body. The UK will continue to recognise EU based Notified Body reports for an, as yet, undefined time period.
New toy products to be placed on the UK market that require third party conformity assessment will be able to use the existing Notified Bodies that are currently based in the UK that will automatically be transferred to UK ‘Approved Bodies’ and will become listed on the UK version of the Nando database.
In this case, toys will be labelled with the new UKCA mark as defined below. However, for these toys requiring third party conformity assessment, a separate EU Notified Body assessment will be needed to place the toy on the EU market.
Toys that are self-certified and thus do not require third party conformity assessment and are labelled with the CE mark can continue to be placed on both the EU and UK markets. Manufacturers will be able to use the UKCA mark as well as the CE mark in this scenario.
- Trading goods regulated under the ‘New Approach’ if there’s no Brexit deal: relevant for other types of product, e.g. toys.
On 2nd February 2019, the UK government published the guidance to replace the CE mark on products in the case of a no-deal Brexit scenario.
The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) would be the new UK mark to demonstrate compliance with the legal requirements to sell certain products in the UK.
Most products which are currently covered by CE marking would fall within the scope of the new UKCA marking. Products made in the UK which are exported to the European Union may have to be stamped with two marks - CE for EU market and UKCA for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
In a “no deal” scenario, the results of conformity assessment carried out by UK conformity assessment bodies will no longer be recognised in the EU. Hence, UK manufacturers wanting to sell products that require conformity assessment and are not self-certifying (within the scope of CE marking legislations) in the EU will have to go through an EU recognised conformity assessment body (or arrange for assessments to be transferred to an EU-recognised body before the UK leaves the EU).
For EU manufacturers that wish to place products on the UK market that require conformity assessment, the UK will continue to recognise EU based Notified Body reports although an, as yet, undefined period of acceptance has been given.
Use Rules for UKCA would vary depending on the specific legislation that applies to the product. But the idea is very similar to CE mark with similar legal requirements (Technical documentation, Declaration of Conformity, marking, labelling, etc...) and responsibilities for manufacturer or responsible person placing the product on the market.
The European Commission and the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have published the following information about the no deal scenario for Notified Bodies:
- Brexit – Guidance to stakeholders on impact in the field of industrial products.
- Guidance: Trading goods regulated under the ‘New Approach’ if there’s no Brexit deal
Key points are highlighted below:
Notified Body in EU
Notified Body in UK
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.
After Brexit, UK Notified Bodies will lose their status as EU Notified Bodies and will be removed from the Commission's information system on notified organisations (NANDO database).
They will automatically become UK approved bodies and listed on a UK version of the NANDO database and given a 4-digit approved body number.
Note: the current intention is that this will be the same number as the existing notified body number, to allow for identification of the relevant approved bodies responsible for CE marked products already in use or circulation on the market.
Where economic operators hold certificates issued by a UK Notified Body prior to the withdrawal date and plan to continue placing the concerned product on the EU-27 market as from the withdrawal date, they have several options:
Where UK notified bodies indicate that they do not intend to operate under the UK framework, their status will be withdrawn on exit day and they will not be listed in the new UK database of Approved Bodies. As part of this, bodies not intending to operate will need to either transfer relevant documentation to another approved body or the relevant government department or to retain relevant documentation for a specified period.
UKAS will continue as the UK’s appointed national accreditation body. Its role in accrediting UK Approved Bodies will be the same as its current role for UK-based Notified Bodies.
The UK Government and European Commission have made available a series of guidance documents with information on how to prepare if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. Below the list of the most recent documents:
- Trading with the EU if there is no Brexit deal: the implications for the trade of goods between the UK and EU countries
- Classifying your goods in the UK Trade Tariff if there is no Brexit deal
- Appointing nominated persons to your business if there’s no Brexit deal
- Trading under the mutual recognition principle if there’s no Brexit deal