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UPDATE: On the evening of 21st November, the UK and EU agreed a draft agreement on post-Brexit relations, separate from the Withdrawal Agreement agreed last week. We take a look at how these may affect your CE Marking Obligations.

It should be stressed that both agreements require approval in both the UK and European Parliaments and as such should only be considered to be proposals at this time.

The Withdrawal Agreement focuses only on the relationship between the UK and the EU from the point at which the UK leaves the EU on 29th March 2019 to the point at which the future relationship is agreed; the target for this is the end of 2020. However, the ‘Customs Agreement’ which will exist between the two parties during the transition phase is open-ended in order to prevent a hard border in Ireland. In terms of CE Marking, this means that given approval of the agreement, there will be no change to your CE Marking obligations throughout the transition phase. Don’t forget that in the event of ‘no deal’, the majority of CE Marking legislation is already written into UK legislation.

The draft agreement on the future relationship doesn’t go into anywhere near the detail of the Withdrawal Agreement; being only 26 pages long as opposed to the 585 pages of the latter. On product legislation, it says “The Parties envisage having a trading relationship on goods that is as close as possible, with a view to facilitating the ease of legitimate trade”. At our recent Annual Seminar, we discussed how the most likely outcome was that any differences in legislation would, in the long term, most probably be limited to the administrative parts of the process; today’s announcement would not appear to contradict that view.

The CE Marking Association will continue to follow the Brexit process and consider its effects on CE Marking for UK Manufacturers; we will publish updates as they become available however if you wish to discuss any topics related to CE Marking, then please get in contact.

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