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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/manufactured-goods-regulatory-requirements-after-brexit/manufactured-goods-regulatory-requirements-if-the-uk-leaves-the-eu-without-a-deal
This page has been replaced by a newer version. Go to Regulations and standards after Brexit for the latest information.
This guidance brings together the sector-specific information across the different areas of goods regulation to help businesses to understand the impacts of Brexit for their products and supply chains.
Please note that this page does not cover customs requirements. Read the guidance on preparing for changes at the UK border after a no deal EU exit.
How EU goods regulation currently operates
Industrial goods are subject to different regulatory regimes. Goods regulated under the ‘old approach’ system - particularly chemicals, automotive, aerospace and medicines - each have largely standalone models of regulation. These are generally based on detailed technical rules and approvals by public bodies at the national or EU level.
Many other goods - including toys, medical devices, construction products and machinery - are regulated under the ‘new approach’ (including the New Legislative Framework). This provides a common toolbox of regulatory measures including conformity markings (such as the CE Marking) and the use of third-party bodies to assess compliance.
A third category of goods – ‘non-harmonised goods’ – are subject to national rather than EU-wide regulation, other than non-product specific rules such as the General Product Safety Directive.
Goods regulation if there is a Brexit deal
Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, there will be a transition or implementation period, a time-limited period between EU Exit and the start of the Future Economic Partnership. This will start on 29 March 2019 and, unless extended, will end on 31 December 2020.
During this period, the UK will no longer be an EU country, but EU law will continue to apply in the UK, subject to the terms set out in the Withdrawal Agreement.
This means businesses will continue to have market access and be able to trade goods on the same terms as now. Manufacturers and businesses will not need to take any action in order to continue placing their goods on the EU market or the UK market. This includes the ability of public and non-public bodies in the UK (such as Notified Bodies) to assess products against EU regulatory requirements.
Goods regulation if there’s no Brexit deal
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the government has taken the decision to provide continuity for a temporary period after 29 March 2019. This does not mean that everything will stay the same, but the approach is intended to ensure that in most cases, the regulatory requirements for placing a manufactured good on the UK market will not significantly change from those which currently apply. This is to ensure stability for those businesses who place goods on the UK market.
Goods that meet EU regulatory requirements will continue to be recognised as valid for sale on the UK market for a time limited period after March 2019, irrespective of whether the EU reciprocates.
Products for the UK market that have third-party assessed, and are being assessed by a UK approved body, will need a new UKCA marking. After the time-limited period is over, all products that need third-party conformity assessment (and currently carry the CE marking) that are being sold on the UK market will need the UKCA marking. Read the guidance on using the new UKCA marking.
In some areas there will be new requirements for access to the UK market to ensure the safety of products being sold in the UK (see below for links to more detailed guidance). For example, in some sectors (such as chemicals, automotive and medicines), EU/UK public bodies play a critical role in ensuring safety and compliance. In these cases, new UK processes will be established to allow for the recognition of EU approvals in place at the time of EU exit as equivalent to UK approvals.
By taking this approach, we will make sure that goods which are safe and compliant under EU law at the point of exit can continue to be placed on the UK market without the need for additional requirements other than where these are necessary and proportionate.
Placing goods on the EU market
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the EU will no longer recognise regulatory compliance activity carried out in the UK as valid for goods being placed on the EU market.
This does not mean that UK manufacturers will have to stop placing goods on the EU market. UK manufacturers who sell into the EU will still be able to do so as long as they continue to meet EU regulatory requirements.
Read the specific guidance below for further detail within each sector.
- Goods regulated under the EU’s ‘New Approach’ if there’s no Brexit deal
- Appointing nominated persons to your business if there’s no Brexit deal
- Trading under the Mutual Recognition Principle if there’s no Brexit deal
- Vehicle type approval if there’s no Brexit deal
- Aviation safety if there’s no Brexit deal
- Regulating chemicals (REACH) if there’s no Brexit deal
- How medicines, medical devices and clinical trials would be regulated if there’s no Brexit deal
For more information visit Prepare for EU Exit.
In particular, business may wish to consider changes to customs arrangements for goods moving between the UK and the EU if we leave without a deal.
Guidance from the European Commission
The European Commission has published its own guidance for business.
- Brexit preparedness notices
- guidance on industrial products
- article on pyrotechnics
- article on explosives for civil use
If you’re unsure which of these guidance notices is relevant to your business, or have further questions about the published guidance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.