Guidance

Placing manufactured goods on the UK market if there’s no Brexit deal

What you need to do to comply with regulations on manufactured goods you place on the UK market if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

This guidance is about placing manufactured goods on the UK market. There’s different guidance if you’re placing manufactured goods on the EU internal market.

What you will need to do after EU Exit will depend on whether your goods are:

Speak to your solicitor if you are unsure which regulatory framework applies to your goods.

New approach goods

Goods are ‘placed on the market’ when they are made available on the market for the first time.

Read the guidance on when placing on the market is considered to take place for manufactured goods on the EU and UK market (PDF, 178KB).

If you have already placed a good on the market before the UK leaves the EU then it can continue circulating after Brexit.

Check the specific EU goods regulations and directives covered by this section. There’s different guidance if you’re placing construction products or medical devices on the UK market.

Essential requirements

When we leave the EU the essential requirements (the legal requirements that must be met before a good can be placed on the market) applying to goods placed on the market in the UK will not change.

Conformity assessment

Goods must undergo ‘conformity assessment’ to make sure that they comply with the essential requirements. External notified bodies assess whether some goods, including lifts and pyrotechnics, conform whereas the manufacturer can ‘self-declare’ others, such as toys.

Using the CE marking in the UK

If you manufacture, import or distribute goods that meet the relevant EU regulatory requirements and bear the CE marking (or other applicable EU conformity marking, such as the ‘wheelmark’) you can still place them on the UK market after the UK leaves the EU. This applies whether the CE marking is used after the manufacturer has self-declared it, or after an EU-recognised conformity assessment body has assessed its conformity. This arrangement will be for a limited time. The government will give businesses notice before this period ends.

New UK arrangements

A new UK framework for conformity assessment will come into effect after the UK leaves the EU. The underlying rules and regulations setting out the requirements for conformity assessment for each product will stay the same.

The UKCA mark, a new UK conformity marking will indicate that a product complies with UK regulations and can be placed on the UK market.

UK notified bodies will become UK approved bodies. This represents their new status in law after we leave the EU, but their role in conformity assessment will not change. EU notified bodies are listed on the NANDO database. After we leave the EU you will be able to find details of UK approved bodies on a similar UK government database which the government will publicise ahead of EU exit.

If your goods are conformity assessed by a UK approved body, then where this is required by legislation, you must use the UKCA marking. This means you can place them on the UK market after the UK leaves the EU, but not the EU market. Read the guidance on using the UKCA marking.

Together, these measures mean that for a limited time, goods using either the CE or UKCA markings can be placed on the UK market. Self-declaration will be allowed as it is today.

Standards

The role of standards in the regulatory framework for manufactured goods will not change when we leave the EU. The current EU ‘harmonised standards’ will be carried across as UK ‘designated standards’ to maintain a single standards model between the UK and the EU.

The roles of economic operators

Some economic operators will get new legal responsibilities after Brexit.

Distributors and importers

If you bring manufactured goods regulated under the new approach into the UK from the EU or EEA and want to place them on the market after the UK leaves the EU your status will change from a ‘distributor’ to an ‘importer’.

You’ll need to:

  • label the goods with your company’s details, including your company’s name, registered trade name or trademark and a contact address
    (There will be an 18-month transitional period after the UK leaves the EU allowing importers importing goods from the EU or EEA to provide their details on the accompanying documentation rather than on the product itself)
  • make sure that the correct conformity assessment procedures have been carried out for any goods you import
  • make sure that any good you import carries the correct conformity markings
  • make sure that the manufacturer has drawn up the correct technical documentation and complied with their labelling requirements
  • make sure you do not place a good you import on the market if you have reason to believe it does not conform with the relevant essential requirements
  • monitor products that you have made available on the market

If you are a distributor whose status does not change, your legal obligations will remain largely unchanged after the UK leaves the EU.

Manufacturers

If you are a manufacturer, your legal obligations will remain largely unchanged after the UK leaves the EU.

Authorised representatives

If you are placing goods on the market after the UK leaves the EU and want to appoint a new authorised representative they will need to be based in the UK.

If you are placing cosmetic products on the UK market, you will need to have a responsible person based in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

If you are placing goods on the market before the UK leaves the EU and have appointed an authorised representative based in the UK, EU, EEA, (or Switzerland and Turkey, where the UK’s continuity measures allow for this) you can continue using them and they will continue to be recognised in the UK.

If you are placing goods on the market after the UK leaves the EU and already have an authorised representative based in the UK, EU, EEA, Switzerland or Turkey, then you can continue using them and they will continue to be recognised in the UK.

Old approach goods

Old approach goods are subject to detailed regulatory requirements and approvals by public bodies.

The relevant regulators have produced detailed guidance on goods subject to the old approach. You should check the guidance on:

Non-harmonised goods

In the EU, non-harmonised goods are subject to the ‘mutual recognition principle’. This is the principle of EU law under which EU countries must allow goods that are legally sold in another EU country to be sold in their own territory. After the UK leaves the EU the mutual recognition principle will not apply to non-harmonised goods placed on the UK market.

If you import non-harmonised goods into the UK after the UK leaves the EU you will need to make sure they meet UK national requirements.

If you are a non-UK business exporting non-harmonised goods to the UK after the UK leaves the EU you will need to make sure that the goods meet UK national requirements, regardless of whether they were previously lawfully marketed in another EU country or in the UK.

Importing goods from non-EU countries

If you are importing goods that need third-party conformity assessment from a non-EU country.

You can meet your requirements for assessment in 3 ways:

  1. You can have your goods assessed by a UK approved body, allowing them to be placed on the UK market.
  2. You can have your goods assessed by an EU or EEA notified body, so they can be placed on the EU internal market and the UK market for a limited time.
  3. You can have your goods assessed against EU requirements by using designated conformity assessment bodies for a limited time. The bodies need to be based in countries that have previously concluded mutual recognition arrangements in relation to conformity assessment with the EU. The countries covered are:

    • Australia
    • New Zealand
    • Canada
    • USA
    • Japan
    • Switzerland
    • Turkey
    • South Korea
    • Israel

Read the separate guidance on existing trade agreements if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Contact

Contact us at goodsregulation@beis.gov.uk if you have goods regulation questions.

Legislation

The Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 underpins the policy outlined in this guidance.

The guidance on product safety and weights and measures gives further detail on these regulations and specific changes in individual sectors.

List of new approach EU directives and regulations covered by this guidance

Published 19 March 2019
Last updated 3 April 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added guidance on when 'placing on the market' is considered to take place for manufactured goods on the EU and UK market.
  2. First published.