How will Brexit affect EMC compliance?
With Boris Johnson now voted in as the new Prime Minister, succeeding Theresa May, It would seem we can be assured of Brexit whatever happens.
Johnson has pledged to attempt to negotiate a deal with the EU at the same time as preparing for the anticipated 'no deal' before exiting. While the new EU President, Ursula von der Leyen, has stated that she would be willing to extend the Brexit deadline further to help negotiations, Johnson has made it clear that it's deal or no deal for the UK government by 31st October 2019.
The Eurofins E&E teams have been attending seminars and presentations by various government departments, and our expectation is that the main compliance agreements will be in place by deadline day. Currently, as a member of the EU, the UK benefits from several Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) with the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Israel, as well as the EU itself; which allow us to test and certify for these countries. Once Brexit goes through, the UK government will need to strike new agreements with these countries to enable us to continue to do so. The good news is that most are already in place; agreements with the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Israel are completed and signed, and Japan is 90% of the way there.
The EU-Korea provisions relating to conformity assessments for EMC are a little different. They're set out in an annex to the EU-Korea FTA, rather than in a formal MRA. As a result, the government will sign a full UK-Korea continuity agreement in due course, once officials have completed the necessary procedures to ensure the text is legally correct and translated. In the meantime, the UK will continue to be covered by the existing FTA while we're still a member of the EU and during any implementation period. The agreement is designed to take effect when the FTA ceases to apply to the UK.
This will mean there should be no loss of service for our customers for global market access to these countries. And no doubt, we will be publishing more feedback as we approach the Brexit deadline day.
While the government has created a new UK compliance mark, we do not anticipate it actually being used. It is intended to be complementary to the CE mark and, as this is internationally recognised, we would expect that to still dominate.