UKAS is aware of the notice to stakeholders issued recently by the European Commission on the ‘Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of industrial products’ and has received a number of enquiries about its content. UKAS believes that the paper is an accurate statement on the impact of Brexit on UK notified bodies if the UK leaves the EU without a trade deal being agreed. However, it is the Government’s declared intention to negotiate a trade agreement with the EU which we expect will include the continued recognition of UK conformity assessment bodies. Depending on the nature of the agreement reached, this will either be as notified bodies or, like CABs in other countries with Mutual Recognition Agreements with the EU, as designated bodies but the recognition and duties should, in effect, be the same. But, as talks about an agreement have only just started, it could be some time before any firm information is available.
The Commission paper does mention the possibility of a transitional agreement which would give the Government more time to reach agreement on these matters but UKAS recognises that the lack of certainty is causing concern. UKAS has made sure that the Government is fully aware of the problems this uncertainty is causing to notified bodies and to the manufacturers who use their services. Notified bodies and other parties that have similar concerned should make their concerns known to the competent authorities that deal with the legislation in question.