Brexit’s impact on Regulations and Certifications
The UK Government has confirmed that after the transition period, businesses can still send personal data from the UK to the EU without additional formalities, but this will be kept under review. However, if the UK exits the EU without a deal, European businesses will need to put safeguards in place for transferring data into the UK as it will be treated as a ‘third country’ for data transfer purposes.
UK businesses will need to consider the mechanisms in place with their European data exporters to ensure that data can continue to flow freely and lawfully in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
In certain scenarios (such as if you offer goods or services to individuals in the EEA or monitor the behaviour of individuals in the EEA but you do not have any EEA offices, branches or establishments) you may need to appoint a representative from the end of the transition period. Further details can be found on the ICO European representatives page. If your business relies on exchanging personal data with European organisations then you should take action now to protect your position with your European clients and suppliers.
Regulations for services
Services provided by UK businesses will be regarded as originating from a third country. Therefore, UK businesses providing services to EU customers may face additional legal, regulatory and administrative barriers from 1 January 2021.
In order to provide services in the EU, UK businesses will need to check the specific trade regulations for doing business on a country by country basis. The national regulations of each EU country explain the rules and formalities that need to be adhered to and how to operate in that particular country.
For each EU country, there are specific country guides for providing services and travelling for business from 1 January 2021 on the government website: www.gov.uk/government/collections/providing-services-to-eea-and-efta-countries-after-eu-exit
Recognition of Professional Qualifications
If you work in a regulated profession, you will need to check if your UK professional qualification is officially recognised by the appropriate regulator for your profession in each country where you intend to work. This can be carried out by checking the European Commission’s Regulated Professions Database and contacting the single point of contact for each country.
Regulations for Manufactured Goods
The government has confirmed that if you have already placed your goods on the market in an EU country before 1 January 2021, no further action is required in relation to your conformity assessment.
What you need to do from 1 January 2021 will depend on the type of manufactured goods that you are placing on the EU market. Different rules and regulatory frameworks apply for different goods, so this should be carefully reviewed. From 1 January 2021, any mandatory conformity assessment will need to be undertaken by an EU-recognised conformity assessment body.
After the UK leaves the EU, all EU based distributors receiving goods from UK companies will become importers. The UK company and the EU based distributor will have legal responsibilities to ensure:
- Correct labelling of products, particularly if you are trading in live animals, plants or food products
- The correct conformity assessment has been carried out and all products carry the correct conformity marking
- The correct technical documentation has been prepared
- Records are kept for the requisite period of 10 years
- No placing of goods on to the EU market where the legal responsibilities are not followed.
If you use an EU-based fulfilment service provider, they will need to request certain compliance information from you, and goods will need to be labelled with their details.
From 1 January 2021, all UK based authorised representatives will no longer be recognised by the EU. Therefore, if you are required to, you will need to appoint an authorised representative based in the EU or EEA (and Northern Ireland until 15 July 2021). This may be where you sell goods without using an importer or fulfilment service provider, for example if you sell online and ship directly to the end user.
For the latest updates on the EU’s requirements you should consult the European Commission’s website.
- If you are exchanging data with EU organisations consider what safeguards need to be put in place
- Service providers should review specific trade regulations for providing services to each country
- Those working in regulated professions should check that their qualification is recognised where they intend to work
- Review your exports to ascertain if you have already placed your goods on the market in an EU country
- Consider the rules and regulatory framework that apply for the type of goods you are exporting
- Check which conformity process you will need to follow for existing and proposed exports
- Check whether your legal responsibilities are changing where you use an EU-based distributor or fulfilment service provider
- If you ship goods without using an EU importer or fulfilment service provider, consider the need to appoint an EU authorised representative.