Standards and Conformity Assessment status

UK National Standards Body status

The British Standards Institute (BSI) has updates on its continued involvement with European organisations and the potential impact. This includes the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENLEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

UK National Accreditation Body status

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) also has dedicated Brexit updates on its ongoing relationship with European Accreditation (EA) and what this means for notified bodies and product conformity. UKAS will maintain its role as the UK’s appointed accreditation body.

Goods and third-party assessment in the EU market

The UK government has also produced guidance on: Conformity assessment bodies: change of status from 1 January 2021.

All other forms of accredited conformity assessment operating under UKAS’s membership of IAF and ILAC will continue to be accepted in the EU and globally as usual. However, UK conformity assessment bodies will no longer be able to carry out mandatory* conformity assessment for products being placed on the EU market unless agreed in negotiations.

*This relates to:

  • Notified bodies offering CE mark assessment
  • Recognised third-party organisations (RTPO)
  • User inspectorates (UI)
  • Technical assessment bodies (TAB)

Most UK-based conformity assessment bodies carrying out EU mandatory conformity assessment have arrangements in place to continue offering this under non-UKAS accreditation.

Manufactured goods and the UK market – CE vs the UKCA marks

The UK government has issued guidance: Placing manufactured goods on the market in Great Britain from 1 January 2021. The guidance states that: “You need to use a conformity mark if you’re placing certain goods on the UK market. Before 1 January 2021, you can do this using the CE mark or another appropriate mark. From 1 January 2021, the UK Conformity assessed (UKCA) mark will be the conformity assessment marking for Great Britain for most goods currently subject to CE marking.” This means that: 

  • Relevant products placed in the UK market will require the UKCA mark, although the UK government will accept both CE and UKCA during 2021 to allow for the transition
  • The arrangements for Northern Ireland are not clear yet: the intention is that both the CE and UKCA mark will remain accepted there
  • The UKCA mark will not be recognised in the EU, unless the EU and the UK agree mutual recognition
  • The UKCA mark will mirror the CE mark rules
  • Products currently requiring a CE marking for sale in the EU will continue to need a CE mark
  • Authorised representatives and responsible persons based in the EU will no longer be recognised in Great Britain from 1 January 2021. If you need to use an authorised representative or responsible person, they will need to be based in the UK for products being placed on the GB market

UK services in the EU

The services sector appears to have had much less consideration. This may be because the weight of EU legislation revolves around goods. 

The UK Department for International Trade has published guidance on Selling services to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein from 1 January 2021.

You’ll need to have your UK professional qualification officially recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in the EEA or Switzerland. This will be the appropriate regulator for your profession in each country where you intend to work, if you’re providing temporary or occasional professional services.

The UK Government has a number of country guides in the Selling services to the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein from 1 January 2021 section of its website.

Trading with the UK as an overseas exporter

The UK Department for International Trade has published Information for international businesses bringing goods into the UK

Importing goods from the EU to the UK

Businesses in Great Britain need to follow a new process to continue importing from EU countries from 1 January 2021.

Procedures for customs under a no deal

HMRC announced Transitional Simplified Procedures for customs in February 2019, should we leave the EU without a deal for UK firms trading with the UK. The EU has provided guidance on changes to the management of VAT.