Urgent update for members using European Technical assessments
FIS is working with colleagues from across the sector, via the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) Product Standards and Regulatory Alignment Group, to formulate a clear position on matters pertaining to Brexit. One area we have been discussing and has raised a particular concern has been CE marking using European Technical Assessments (ETA’s), specifically how they can be applied to products sold in the European Union when we exit the EU on January 1 2021.
Contrary to what the European Organisation for Technical Assessment (EOTA) has been stating for some time, the European Commission has ‘decreed’ that ETAs originating from UK TABs will not be valid in the EU after 31/12/20. These ETAs are to be removed from the EOTA website on 1/1/21. This means, as it currently stands, manufacturers using Technical Assessment Bodies (TAB’s) in the UK will no longer be able to CE mark products when placing them on the market in the European Union and Northern Ireland from January 1 2021.
EOTA is raising their concerns about this approach with the Commission and at the same time the issue has been raised in the UK with the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). At this stage it is unlikely that we will get a clear response or any movement until there is clarity on the details of any deal with the EU .
It is important to note that in the reverse scenario there is a transitional year agreed i.e. manufacturers using TAB’s based in the European Union will be able to continue CE marking products and selling these into the UK, but will have to use a UK TAB in order to apply a UKCA mark by the end of December 2021.
If you are currently CE marking products based on an ETA, it is advised that you contact the TAB that you are currently working with to check that they are aware and have a process in place for supporting you in transitioning Assessments to an appropriate authority, if necessary.
We are still trying to understand if this will have an impact if you are currently placing your product on the UK market using a CE Mark.
HMRC urges traders to act now to prepare for 1 January 2021
With 53 days to go until the end of the transition period, HMRC has written to VAT-registered traders who trade with the EU, to encourage them to act now in order to avoid business disruption. The Border Operating Model and tax rules will come into effect at the end of the transition period regardless of whether or not a Free Trade Agreement is negotiated.
To continue trading with Europe from 1 January 2021, businesses should take some key actions:
- Appoint a specialist to deal with import and export declarations. This is important regardless of the amount or value of trade your business does with Europe. Most businesses use a third party such as a freight forwarder or fast parcel operator to deal with this, and do not do their customs declarations themselves.
- Check to see if you will be able to delay your declarations or duty payments.
- Register for the free-to-use Trader Support Service if you plan on moving goods into Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.
- For more help and advice on preparing for the end of the transition period, please visit www.gov.uk/transition
Selling goods into the EU (including Ireland) post Brexit
From 16th July 2021 UK manufacturers will need to appoint an authorised representative base in the EU or EEA if selling products without using an importer or a fulfilment service provider e.g. if you sell online and ship directly to the end user.
This information is set out in Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 on market surveillance and compliance of products which amends the CPR and Regulation (EC) No 765/2008. Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) 2019/1020 states that products subject to the legislation referred to in Article 4(5) can only be placed on the market if there is a person established within the Union who is responsible for the regulatory compliance tasks set out in Article 4(3).
Article 4(2) of the Regulation requires the authorised representative must have their name, registered trade name or trademark and contact details indicated on the product or its packaging, the parcel or accompanying documentation.
Below is an extract of Article 4 from Regulation (EU) 2019/1020. A copy of the full Regulation can be viewed here.
TASKS OF ECONOMIC OPERATORS
Tasks of economic operators regarding products subject to certain Union harmonisation legislation
Notwithstanding any obligations set out in applicable Union harmonisation legislation, a product subject to legislation referred to in paragraph 5 may be placed on the market only if there is an economic operator established in the Union who is responsible for the tasks set out in paragraph 3 in respect of that product.
For the purposes of this Article, the economic operator referred to in paragraph 1 means any of the following:
(a) a manufacturer established in the Union;
(b) an importer, where the manufacturer is not established in the Union;
(c) an authorised representative who has a written mandate from the manufacturer designating the authorised representative to perform the tasks set out in paragraph 3 on the manufacturer’s behalf;
(d) a fulfilment service provider established in the Union with respect to the products it handles, where no other economic operator as mentioned in points (a), (b) and (c) is established in the Union.
Without prejudice to any obligations of economic operators under the applicable Union harmonisation legislation, the economic operator referred to in paragraph 1 shall perform the following tasks:
(a) if the Union harmonisation legislation applicable to the product provides for an EU declaration of conformity or declaration of performance and technical documentation, verifying that the EU declaration of conformity or declaration of performance and technical documentation have been drawn up, keeping the declaration of conformity or declaration of performance at the disposal of market surveillance authorities for the period required by that legislation and ensuring that the technical documentation can be made available to those authorities upon request;
(b) further to a reasoned request from a market surveillance authority, providing that authority with all information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of the product in a language which can be easily understood by that authority;
(c) when having reason to believe that a product in question presents a risk, informing the market surveillance authorities thereof;
(d) cooperating with the market surveillance authorities, including following a reasoned request making sure that the immediate, necessary, corrective action is taken to remedy any case of non-compliance with the requirements set out in Union harmonisation legislation applicable to the product in question, or, if that is not possible, to mitigate the risks presented by that product, when required to do so by the market surveillance authorities or on its own initiative, where the economic operator referred to in paragraph 1 considers or has reason to believe that the product in question presents a risk.
Without prejudice to the respective obligations of economic operators under the applicable Union harmonisation legislation, the name, registered trade name or registered trade mark, and contact details, including the postal address, of the economic operator referred to in paragraph 1 shall be indicated on the product or on its packaging, the parcel or an accompanying document.
This Article only applies in relation to products that are subject to Regulations (EU) No 305/2011 (34), (EU) 2016/425 (35)and (EU) 2016/426 (36) of the European Parliament and of the Council, and Directives 2000/14/EC (37), 2006/42/EC (38), 2009/48/EC (39), 2009/125/EC (40), 2011/65/EU (41), 2013/29/EU (42), 2013/53/EU (43), 2014/29/EU (44), 2014/30/EU (45), 2014/31/EU (46), 2014/32/EU (47), 2014/34/EU (48), 2014/35/EU (49), 2014/53/EU (50) and 2014/68/EU (51) of the European Parliament and of the Council.