Impact of Brexit on product certification
EU product legislation will no longer apply in the UK when the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. This will have implications for businesses who use UK based notified bodies or accredited test facilities.
However, EU product legislation applies to products placed on the EU market irrespective of where they are manufactured which means that it will continue to apply to UK manufactured products placed on the EU market after end of the transition period. All UK manufactured products will still need to:
Be marked with the CE mark
Be certified by an EU notified body where required by EU legislation
Have a valid and up to date EU Declaration of Performance
Notified Bodies must be established in a Member State and designated by a Member State notifying authority for performing the conformity assessment tasks set out in the relevant EU product legislation.
UK Notified Bodies will lose their status as EU Notified Bodies at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 and will be removed from the NANDO database. Certificates issued by UK based notified bodies will cease to be valid in the EU.
Manufacturers whose products have been certified by a UK notified body will have to transfer their certification to an EU based notified body before 31 December 2020 on the basis of a contractual arrangement between the manufacturer, the UK Notified Body, and the EU Notified Body.
Any manufacturer who does not transfer their certification will have to get their get their products recertified by an EU notified body after 1 January 2021.
Accreditation and test certificates
Many Irish businesses use UK laboratories to use demonstrate product performance as meeting regulatory requirements. This applies both to manufacturers self-certifying their products and to manufacturers using a UK test result as part of a broader EU regulatory submission.
The UK Accreditation Service will cease to be a national accreditation body within the meaning and for the purposes of Regulation No 765/2008 from the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. As a consequence, its accreditation certificates will be no longer be considered as 'accreditation' within the meaning of Regulation No 765/2008 and will be no longer valid or recognised in the EU pursuant where Regulation No 765/2008 applies.
You can get further information on accreditation from the Irish National Accreditation Board website.
EU Blue Guide
The Blue Guide is a comprehensive guide to the operation of the EU single market for manufactured products. It is available on the EU Commission website.
There are some types of product which require the intervention of a qualified third party, known as a Notified Body, during the conformity assessment process. Notified Bodies are typically a certification body, inspection body or a test house. There is a requirement that before a product can be legally placed on the European market, it must be certified by a Notified Body with EU Notified Body status. You can search for and visit the EU 'NANDO' website to find a notified body which meets this criteria.
To be appointed as a Notified Body, an organisation must meet the requirements set out in the relevant Directive and must normally be established in a Member State and be designated by that Member State's notifying authority to perform the appropriate conformity assessment tasks.
These Notified Bodies are appointed under and operate to specific national legislation which transposes the provisions of a corresponding European Directive. These Directives apply throughout the European Economic Area (EEA).
To find out further information, you should consult the EU's ‘Blue Guide’ on the implementation of EU product rules and the 10 Steps to CE Marking here on our website.
What will happen after Brexit?
- All Notified Bodies in the UK will cease to be recognised as EU Notified Bodies and you will no longer be able to use their services for product certification in order to meet EU countries' requirements.
- Your products will need to be certified (‘CE’ marked) by an EU Notified Body and you will need to find a suitable EU Notified Body that can certify your product(s).
- The details of all EU Notified Bodies are available on the EU NANDO website (http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/nando/)
All products certified by a UK Notified Body must be placed on the market before Brexit occurs or else they will need to be recertified.
What should I do now?
If you currently use a UK-based Notified Body, you will have to move to an EU-27 Notified Body. You should start the process by taking the following steps:
- Check the EU ‘NANDO’ website for a Notified Body based in one of the countries within the EU-27.
- Contact the new Notified Body and find out what you need to do to transfer your product certification. If you do this post-Brexit, you will be required to start with a new application.
- If you import from the UK, you will be required to keep additional information. Engage with your UK supplier(s) to obtain this information as soon as possible.
- If you have businesses based in both the UK and EU-27 consider how you might reorganise your business processes to minimise disruption to your supply chain.
NSAI are currently notified for a range of different product types across the following sectors; Construction, Medical Devices and Metrology.
Contact the Brexit Unit on BrexitUnit@NSAI.ie for any queries related to standards or certification for your business post-Brexit.