As you will know, the UK formally left the EU on 31 January 2020. The government still expects that the UK will negotiate a new trading agreement to enable existing Certification arrangements to remain unchanged, or if not, to enable a new working relationship to be established. As more details become clear, the BBA will be updating this guidance, and its clients accordingly.
In the meantime, we are in a transition period until 31 December 2020, during which time all aspects of CE marking and the associated Certification remain unchanged.
In a worst-case scenario, if the UK is unable to establish a new trading agreement, there will be implications for products covered by the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), UK Technical Assessment Bodies (TABs) and UK Notified Bodies. Products to be placed on the EU market will continue to need CE Marking if they are covered by a harmonised European Standard, but for products to be placed on the UK market, an equivalent UKCA Marking scheme would be introduced. For further details, see below.
European Technical Assessments (ETAs)
The BBA has reached an agreement with a European TAB to allow our clients to transfer their ETA files and associated Certificates with minimal disruption in the event of failure to achieve a trading agreement. The BBA will provide information to affected clients in time to achieve this transfer should it be necessary.
EC Certificates of Conformity
EC Certificates of Conformity, including those for factory production control (FPC) issued by UK Notified Bodies would become invalid in the event of a failure to agree a new trading agreement. This means that for the product to be placed on the market in the EU, Certification and AVCP inspections would need to be managed by a Notified Body in one of the remaining EU member states. The BBA has negotiated a partnering arrangement with a European Notified Body for this work and will provide information to affected clients in time to transfer their documentation. However, if you are placing the product solely on the market in the UK, your Certification will remain valid.
BBA Notified Body test reports
Where we have provided a test report as a UK Notified body in support of CE marking, we see no logical reason that tests carried out (while we were still a Notified Body under the CPR) would be later deemed invalid. In the event that the EU takes this view, we are also in negotiations with Notified Bodies in other EU member states, in order that existing (and indeed, future) test reports will still be accepted for CE Marking. The BBA will provide information to affected clients in time to achieve this transfer should it be necessary.
Equivalent provisions in the UK
In the event of a failure to achieve a trading agreement, at present, it is anticipated that the following changes will take place immediately:
* Harmonised European standards will be adopted as identical UK Designated Standards
* UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marketing will be introduced for certain products placed on the market in the UK.
* TABs that are UK-based will become UK Technical Assessment Bodies and listed on a UK register. The BBA will be able to issue UK Technical Assessments in order for products not fully covered by a UK Designated Standard to be UKCA marked.
* Notified Bodies that are UK-based will become UK Notified Bodies and listed on a UK register. The BBA will be able to issue UK Notified Body reports in support of products being UKCA marked.
For a limited period of time (currently of unspecified duration), existing CE Marking on most goods will still be accepted for sales to the UK market.
As mentioned above, if you are UK-based and selling into the UK market, your Certification remains valid with no further action necessary on your part.
Non-EC Certificates and Approvals
Note that if you are a BBA Agrément Certificate holder, or have Certification to another non-EC scheme, such as HAPAS, MCS, PAS2030, management systems, approved installer, etc, your Certification will be unaffected by the ongoing trade negotiations. These are UK schemes, and the outcome of the talks with the EU will not affect the validity of your Certification. Likewise, non-EC test reports on our accredited schedule will still be recognised internationally as accredited under ISO 17025. The BBA is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service as a Product Certification Body, Management Systems Certification Body, Testing Laboratory and Inspection Body. Full UKAS accreditation scopes can be found on our website. UKAS is the UK’s national accreditation body, and a signatory to the international mutual recognition agreements for accreditation bodies. UKAS is also the UK member of European Accreditation, the association of national accreditation bodies in Europe, and this body has amended its Articles of Association to allow UKAS to maintain its membership after any Brexit outcome.
We will continue to update this advice as more information becomes available. If you have any further questions, please contact us by email at email@example.com