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General

Brexit (GEN – 1009.00)

25 March 2019

3 min read
Brexit
General

Brexit (GEN – 1009.00)

25 March 2019

3 min read

GEN – 1009.00. On 19 March 2019, the UK Government Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy has released two new guidance documents that replace the earlier versions from September 2018. The two guidance documents from the UK perspective are: ‘Placing manufactured goods on the UK market if there’s no Brexit deal’ and ‘Placing manufactured goods on the EU internal market if there’s no Brexit deal’.

Background

Two years ago, the United Kingdom notified the European Council of its intention to leave the European Union, in accordance with Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, on 29 March 2019.

On 22 March, the UK was informed about the European Council decision of 21 March extending the period under Article 50. If the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by the House of Commons by 29 March 2019 at the latest, the period provided for in Article 50 is extended until 22 May 2019. If the Withdrawal Agreement (Deal) is not approved by the House of Commons by 29 March 2019, the period is extended until 12 April 2019. In that event, the United Kingdom will indicate a way forward and give notice if it would hold, as member of the EU, the European elections in the period 23 to 26 May.

(Possible) Consequences for trade

The EU has published its contingency plans on 19 December 2018.

The major elements in the Commission Communication relates to customs and tariffs, where the 27 Members States must act to comply and to apply the Union Customs Code and the relevant rules on indirect taxation to all imports from and exports to the United Kingdom. Most Member States should have identified and put in place the necessary measures.

If the Withdrawal Agreement is not ratified, the UK will no longer take part in the quota system for placing hydrofluorocarbons (F-Gases) on the market. The changes to the quota systems are detailed in Decision 2018/2023 and Regulation 2018/1992.

The most recent UK documents of 19 March are outlining the consequences.

We note that CE marked products can still be placed on the UK market after 12 April 2019. However, this arrangement will be for a limited time and the UK government will give businesses notice before this period ends.

A new UK framework for conformity assessment will come into effect after 12 April 2019. The underlying rules and regulations setting out the requirements for conformity assessment for each product would stay the same as under the EU. The UKCA mark, a new UK conformity marking will indicate that a product complies with UK regulations and can be placed on the UK market.

If goods are conformity assessed by a UK approved body, then where this is required by legislation, one must use the UKCA marking. This means one can place products on the UK market after 12 April 2019, but not the EU market.

EU ‘harmonised standards’ will be carried across as UK ‘designated standards’ to maintain a single standards model between the UK and the EU.

Authorised representatives based in the UK, EU, EAA Switzerland and Turkey will continue to be recognised in the UK and will be able to place goods on the UK market after 12 April 2019.

Recommendations

Today, it is not possible to guess the outcome of the negotiations between the UK and EU. Companies producing or trading with the UK are recommended to check at least the latest UK trade publications. Until 12 April, no impact is expected. However, in future, decisions by the UK Government may have an impact.

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