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The UK will leave the EU on 31 October. This page tells you how to prepare for Brexit. It will be updated if anything changes, including if a deal is agreed.
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You need to take action now to check:
- which conformity marking you will need to use
- whether you will need to appoint an authorised representative or responsible person in the UK
- whether your legal responsibilities will be changing
- if you will meet the assessment requirements, if you are exporting goods from non-EU / EEA countries to the UK
If you have already placed your good on the UK market before Brexit, you do not need to do anything.
Your business sector
You must follow special rules if you’re placing goods on the UK market in the following sectors:
Conformity marking your goods
Using the UKCA marking
The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is a new UK product marking that will be used for certain goods being placed on the UK market if there’s a no-deal Brexit.
You need to take action if:
- you are placing certain goods on the UK market after the UK leaves the EU - contact your solicitor or trade association for advice on whether your good will be affected
- you are required to have your good assessed by a conformity assessment body
- you are using a UK based notified body now or you plan to after Brexit
If these apply to your goods, you will need to use the new UKCA marking to indicate that your good complies with UK regulations and can only be placed on the UK market.
The role of UK Approved Bodies (currently UK notified bodies) in the conformity assessment process will not change.
Using the CE marking
CE marking for the UK market
You will still be able to use the CE marking for products being placed on the UK market if any of the following apply:
- you currently CE mark your good on the basis of self-certification
- any mandatory third-party conformity assessment was carried out by an EU-recognised notified body
- the certificate of conformity previously held by a UK body has been transferred to an EU-recognised notified body
The CE marking will only be accepted in the UK for a time limited period. The government will consult and give businesses notice before this period ends.
CE marking for both the UK and EU market
The UKCA marking will not be recognised on the EU market, and products currently requiring a CE marking will continue to require a CE marking for sale in the EU.
If you are exporting your good to both the UK and EU markets, first check whether your UK notified body is taking steps of its own so that you can continue to export to the EU without needing CE conformity assessment certificates from an EU notified body.
If not, you will need to transfer your conformity assessment certificates to an EU Notified Body or alternatively apply for a new certificate from an EU notified body.
The above only relates to situations where third-party assessment is mandatory. You may not be affected if you:
- self-declare the conformity of your good against the regulations
- voluntarily use a testing or notified body to test against European or international standards
Speak to your testing body or solicitor for advice on how conformity processes for your good will be affected by Brexit.
Appointing an authorised or responsible person in the UK
If you are placing goods on the UK market you can continue using any existing authorised representative based in the UK, EU, EEA or Switzerland and Turkey and they will be recognised by the UK.
If you need to appoint a new authorised representative to put your goods on the market after Brexit, the new authorised representative will need to be based in the UK.
If you are placing cosmetic goods on the UK market, you will need to have a responsible person based in the UK after Brexit.
If authorised representatives are not mandatory for third-country manufacturers, you do not need to do anything.
Checking whether your legal responsibilities are changing
If you are a manufacturer your legal obligations will remain largely unchanged after Brexit.
If you are currently a UK distributor, you need to confirm whether you or your supplier will become an ‘importer’ once the UK leaves the EU. This will usually be the case if you are the one bringing goods into the UK from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, and want to put them on the UK market after Brexit.
If you are becoming an ‘importer’ you will need to ensure you understand your legal obligations. You will need to make sure:
- goods are labelled with your company’s details, including your company’s name and a contact address (for 18 months after Brexit you can provide these details on the accompanying documentation rather than on the good itself)
- the correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out and that any good you import carries the correct conformity markings
- the manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation and complied with their labelling requirements
- you maintain a copy of the declaration of conformity for a period of 10 years
- you do not place a good you import on the market if you have reason to believe it does not conform with the relevant essential requirements
Checking requirements to export from non-EU/EEA countries
If you are exporting goods that need third-party conformity assessment from non-EU/EEA countries, you can meet your requirements for assessment in 3 ways:
- You can have your goods assessed by a UK Approved Body, allowing them to be placed on the UK market. These goods will require the UKCA marking.
- You can have your goods assessed by an EU or EEA notified body, so they can be placed on the EU market and the UK market for a limited time. These goods will require the CE marking.
- You can have your goods assessed against EU requirements by using designated third-country conformity assessment bodies for a limited time. The bodies need to be based in countries that have concluded mutual recognition arrangements in relation to conformity assessment with the EU. The countries covered are:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
Goods not covered by existing EU legislation
For some manufactured goods, such as furniture and bicycles, there is no EU wide product specific legislation. These goods can be regulated at national level and are known as ‘non-harmonised goods’.
These goods can in some cases circulate freely around the EU / EEA under the ‘mutual recognition principle’. This is the principle of EU law under which EU countries must allow goods that are legally sold in another EU country to be sold in their own territory. After the UK leaves the EU, this principle will no longer apply in the UK.
If you import non-harmonised manufactured goods into the UK, you will need to make sure they meet UK requirements regardless of whether they were previously sold in another EU country.
Speak to your solicitor or trade association if you are unsure which regulatory framework applies to your goods.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have goods regulation questions.
The Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 underpins the policy outlined in this guidance.
The guidance on product safety and weights and measures gives further detail on these regulations and specific changes in individual sectors.