The Government’s Brexit machine is beginning to stir again after a summer break of near-total silence. We are of course now in the home strait of the negotiations on a deal with the EU to take effect at the end of the transition period on 31 December and the signs of success are not good. The principal focus must be to adapt to a scenario where there is no deal. This bulletin deals with two major issues.
1 September 2020 Defra published new guidance for UK REACH on GOV.UK, which you can find here.
More detailed guidance will follow later this month.
Defra also recently concluded an evidence gathering exercise to better understand the costs associated with UK REACH. This identified practical ideas to allow industry more time to reach agreement with commercial partners to access the chemical substance registration data that they need and therefore reduce the risks of disruption to supply chains, while maintaining strong environment and health protections that we have today. Rebecca Pow, the responsible Parliamentary Secretary at Defra, issued a statement outlining the proposed extension to the existing registration deadlines set in legislation, subject to parliamentary and devolved administration scrutiny. You can find this here. If you have any queries please contact REACH-IT@defra.gov.uk.
The Government also recently issued new guidance on this issue. You can find this here. Essentially the new UK domestic regime will cover most goods currently subject to the EU’s CE marking. The technical requirements for these goods will be the same on 1 January 2021 as they are now. However, there will be certain changes, including the introduction of the UKCA marking and a system of third-party conformity assessment by UK-recognised approved bodies, in place of the current EU system of notified bodies.
A ‘standstill period’ for most CE marked goods will last from 1 January 2021 until 31 December 2021. During this time businesses are encouraged to be ready for full implementation of the new UK regime as soon as possible after 1 January 2021. However, to allow businesses time to adjust, CE marked goods in scope of this guidance that meet EU requirements (where these match UK requirements) can continue to be placed on the GB market until 1 January 2022 where EU and UK requirements remain the same. This includes goods which have been assessed by an EU recognised notified body.
These transitional measures will only apply until 1 January 2022. From this point the UKCA mark will be required to be displayed on products, where the CE mark is currently used, to show compliance with the UK domestic regime. To ease the burden on businesses, until 1 January 2023 for most UKCA marked goods you have the option to affix the UKCA marking on a label affixed to the product or on an accompanying document. The economic operators (whether manufacturer, importer, or distributor) should take reasonable steps to ensure the UKCA marking remains in place. From 1 January 2023, the UKCA marking must, in most cases, be affixed directly to the product. If relevant you should start building this into your design process ready for this date.
There are four links to guidance we would like to bring to your attention:
This guidance relates primarily to goods regulated by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) under the areas listed in the guidance. It does not wholly apply to medical devices; rail interoperability; construction products; civil explosives; goods regulated under the old approach (chemicals, medicines, vehicles, aerospace) or goods covered by national rules (see the UK specific rules guidance for more information)
Please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries and we can take them up with our contacts in Government