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Impact of Brexit on the marketing of products in the European single market

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland submitted on March 29, 2017 the notification pursuant to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. Therefore, starting March 30, 2019, European legislation will cease to apply to the United Kingdom, unless a different date is agreed upon in a ratified withdrawal agreement. With this move, the UK will become a third country in relation to the remaining 27 EU Member States.

Since then a draft withdrawal agreement has been presented, which governs the future relationship between the European Union and Great Britain and which is expected to be finalized by summer 2018. Herein, the negotiators have also reached an agreement on the transitional period beginning on the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement and ending on December 31, 2020. Great Britain remains therefore in the Union by the end of 2020 and continues to apply European legislation, but losing its voting rights in the Council and Parliament from March 30, 2019.

The European Commission informed with notices to stakeholders on the impact of the withdrawal from the Union:

Ramifications for the economic players

Starting March 30, 2019, UK-based manufacturers and importers will no longer be considered EU-based economic operators. Under Union law, from this withdrawal date, distributors will become importers who import products from a third country into the Union market. Consequently, they will need to meet the requirements applicable to importers.

Should the agreement be ratified, then December 31, 2020 will be considered as the withdrawal date.

If the designation of an authorized representative in the EU is required as a result of specific Union legislation, the recognition of such an authorized representative if based in the UK will expire on March 30, 2019. Manufacturers should therefore ensure that their authorized representatives are relocated to any of the 27 EU Member States in due time.

Ramifications for notified bodies and conformity assessment procedures

The application of certain sector-specific regulations requires the involvement of Notified Bodies in conformity assessment procedures. Under Union product legislation, Notified Bodies must be established in an EU Member State and must be designated by a Member State notifying authority in order to perform activities as part of a conformity assessment.

Starting March 30, 2019 - respectively starting December 31 with the ratification of the withdrawal agreement -, UK Notified Bodies will lose their status as European Notified Bodies and will not be able to perform conformity assessment activities under European legislation going forward. As a result, certificates issued by a British Notified Body will no longer be valid as from the withdrawal date.

This also applies to the British type-approval authority, which may no longer issue type-approval certificates under European legislation starting March 30, 2019 - respectively starting December 31 with the ratification of the withdrawal agreement. Any issued certificates will become invalid on that date. Similarly, UK-based Notified technical services working on behalf of the British type-approval authority will lose their status as European Notified technical services.

TÜV Rheinland - your contact person

We will be happy to offer you our support and to answer any questions you may have on this topic.

Our range of services includes conformity assessment activities that require the intervention of a Notified Body or a Notified technical service in accordance with the EU regulations and directives.

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