Conformity assessment bodies: change of status from 1 January 2021

How conformity assessment bodies will be affected from 1 January 2021.

New rules for January 2021

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.

This page tells you what you'll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.

You can also read about the transition period.

This guidance is only for:

  • UK notified bodies
  • recognised third-party organisations (RTPO)
  • user inspectorates (UI)
  • technical assessment bodies (TAB)

It applies to conformity assessment activity required by relevant EU legislation.

You do not need to take any action, unless you decide to stop operating before 1 January 2021.

From 1 January 2021:

  • a new legal framework will allow you to continue operating for most products being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland)
  • most conformity assessment bodies will automatically have their status converted under the new framework
  • a new UK database will replace the EU’s New Approach Notified and Designated Organisations (NANDO) database
  • the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) will continue as your national accreditation body (where relevant)

Conformity assessment for the EU market

From 1 January 2021 any mandatory third-party conformity assessment for the EU market will need to be carried out by an EU-recognised conformity assessment body. This includes both EU based bodies and bodies in countries with which the EU has concluded a mutual recognition agreement.

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.

From 1 January 2021, the UK government is putting in place a domestic legal framework that will allow UK conformity assessment bodies to continue operating for most products being placed on the GB market.

The new UK legal framework and the technical requirements for becoming a UK approved body or a UK-recognised RTPO, UI or TAB will be broadly the same as they are now.

EU notified bodies are required to share information with UK approved bodies when requested by a certificate holder, and UK approved bodies should do the same with EU notified bodies. This will help facilitate the issuing of new certificates of conformity, where needed, without the need to repeat the entire certification process.

Conversion to UK arrangements

Most conformity assessment bodies in the UK will automatically have their status converted under the new UK framework.

UK-based notified bodies will become UK approved bodies, and UK-based RTPOs, UIs and TABs will become UK-recognised RTPOs, UIs and TABs respectively.

You do not need to take any action to be transferred under this arrangement. UK-based notified bodies who become approved bodies will keep the same 4-digit identification number as they have now.

UK approved bodies will still be able to act as notified bodies for the Northern Ireland market from 1 January 2021. Read the guidance on moving manufactured goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Stopping operating or changing your services before 1 January 2021

If you no longer intend to carry out conformity assessment, decide to stop operating, or change the scope of the services you offer, you will need to follow the usual procedures. In most cases, this means informing UKAS, who will then inform the relevant government department.

If you choose to stop providing services under any particular area of legislation, you will be asked to do one of 3 things with the relevant documents. They are:

  • retain them
  • transfer them to another body
  • provide them to the relevant government department

UK replacement of NANDO database

The government is setting up a new domestic UK database to replace the EU’s NANDO database. You can check your current company details on the NANDO database.

Assessments can continue

Updated letters of appointment or designation will be sent out before 1 January 2021 to confirm your new status and the conditions attached to your appointment. UKAS will also update your schedules of accreditation as needed.

You can continue to carry out conformity assessments for the UK market. You do not need to wait until you get the letter of appointment or designation.

You will be able to apply the new UKCA marking to products from 1 January 2021.

Converted UK approved bodies will also be able to assess the conformity of products for export to third countries, subject to:

  • the UK securing ongoing mutual recognition of conformity assessment
  • getting any additional accreditation necessary

Any certificates you issue to your clients before 1 January 2021 will continue to be valid for the UK market and will be treated as if they had been issued under the new UK framework. You do not have to reissue certificates.

Find advice for your clients on getting their products ready for placing in the GB market, Northern Ireland market and EU market from 1 January 2021.

Accreditation by UKAS

UKAS will continue as the UK’s appointed national accreditation body. Its role in accrediting UK approved bodies will be the same as its current role for UK-based notified bodies.

UKAS expects to continue its membership of the European Cooperation for Accreditation (EA). It will continue to provide accreditation of other types of assessment bodies (such as test houses and laboratories) against recognised international standards.

UKAS’s membership of the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) will be unaffected.

More information

Relevant EU legislation


If you have further questions contact

Published 1 September 2020