BREXIT UPDATE – 15 FEBRUARY 2019 

To date, INSPEC has been implementing Brexit contingency actions for the notified body work of the INSPEC Certification Services department – namely, personal protective equipment and marine equipment certification services. Other services such as for ISO 9001:2015 and our IC Mark, and other areas of the wider business such as testing, proficiency services and test equipment sales, are unaffected. 

In brief, INSPEC Certification Services has acted to:

  • Register INSPEC International BV in the Netherlands
  • Seek accreditation with Raad van Accreditatie (RvA), the accreditation body of the Netherlands
  • Communicated with notification authorities of the Netherlands, confirming intentions
  • Communicated with legal officers of the European Commission on preparedness and interpretation
  • Communicated with UK departments on preparedness and interpretation
  • Communicated with UK notified bodies, industry and other co-ordination groups. 

INSPEC Certification Services remains confident that we will achieve accreditation with RvA, and subsequent notification with SZW for the Personal Protective Equipment Regulation and with ILT for the Marine Equipment Directive. But we cannot be certain that all of the required processes will be completed by 29 March 2019. 

Despite the arguments within the UK Parliament, UK Industry has forcefully stated that it will not tolerate a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, and we are confident that, before the withdrawal date, agreement will be reached to permit UK notified body activities to continue during a ‘transition period’.  

The European Commission expanded upon their Notice to Stakeholders[i] with the issue of “Questions and Answers Related to the United Kingdom’s Withdrawal From the European Union With Regard to Industrial Products” dated 1 February 2019[ii]

It is our understanding that, while this document and other Notices are not legislative in the form of Decisions, Directives or Regulations, they are the negotiating position of the European Commission. 

If the principles of this guidance are applied - wherein a transition period is not agreed or an agreement concerning continued placement of goods is not reached – then, after the 29 March 2019, Type-examination and Approval decisions (certificates) issued by United Kingdom notified bodies will no longer be accepted by the EU-27 Union Market. Furthermore, in contrast to earlier positions of the European Commission, all certifications will have to be reissued by an EU-27 located notified body. 

The wider global Industry is contesting the European Commission statement that UK certificates will not be accepted post-exit, as it retrospectively nullifies Type-examination and Approval decisions taken by competent bodies, which were monitored by competent accreditation authorities under instruction from relevant authorities within the UK, historically recognised by the European Union. 

However, due to the unlikely event that the Notice to Stakeholders and Q&A is implemented post-exit, we must now explain that it is possible that INSPEC may not achieve formal notification prior to 29 March 2019 - meaning the European Commission, through the EU-27 Member States, may prevent already certified equipment being placed on the EU-27 Union Market, and our PPE and MED certification clients may be without Type-examination and Approval decisions necessary for them to issue their Declarations of Conformity. 

Either through INSPEC International Ltd or INSPEC International BV, we are committed to ensuring that INSPEC Certification Services will be able to provide you with services as a notified body. We will work with you to prepare for the transition of your certification from our UK body to our body in the Netherlands as soon as we are able. 

INSPEC will continue to monitor the Brexit situation, and will inform interested parties upon request, and in response to any significant development. Updates will also be posted on our website. 

INSPEC Certification Services 

[i] https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/file_import/industrial_products_en_1.pdf

[ii] https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/qa_brexit_industrial_products_en.pdf