Is your business prepared for Brexit?

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and entered an 11 month transition period. The UK and EU agreed a deal that governs their relationship from 1 January 2021 onwards. 

We know that the uncertainty around Brexit has made it difficult to know how to prepare, but our expert team will help you to put practical steps in place to make sure your business is ready for the UK’s new relationship with the EU. Our team of Brexit advisors offer in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit and how it will affect your business.

We specialise in a wide range of sectors and can help to answer big questions about Brexit and the preparations businesses should make, including:

  • How will the entry into the UK-EU trade agreement affect you?
  • How will the entry into any further UK-EU trade agreements affect you?
  • How will any long-term new trade agreements affect you?

Our team of advisors can provide bespoke assessments of your business, including:

  • Assessing how your business could be affected by Brexit
  • Providing personalised practical plans to ensure your business is ready

A major challenge you face is complying with the terms of the UK and EU deal. Importing and exporting to the EU, travel, hiring and data have all changed. The deal is also not fully comprehensive and further issues, notably relating to the provision of services, are still to be fleshed out.

Our team can help you with all that you need in two steps:

1. Information - You need to have procedures in place to ensure you are well-informed about the Brexit process. Relying on press reports won’t be enough. Understanding and forecasting the likely impacts are fundamental to your Brexit strategy to gaining early competitive advantage. FBC Manby Bowdler will give you with a tailored service which monitors progress, analyses published documents, and identifies the impacts for your business.

2. Action - You should decide what contingency plans you need and when they should be activated. You might be marginally or massively impacted. Contingency measures could include setting up alternative supply chains, identifying new customer markets, or re-skilling employees. FBC Manby Bowdler has been at the forefront of advising clients on the commercial implications of Brexit. We have the experience to help you devise and implement contingency measures for your business, whatever industry you operate in.

Our team of experienced sector specialists has examined the potential impact of Brexit in your sector and can provide an in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit, and translate what they mean for manufacturing, agricultural and hospitality clients. We have an expert understanding of how each piece of the jigsaw of EU policy and legislation fits together, an insider’s knowledge of the political and administrative processes of the negotiations, and considerable experience of how UK legislation is enacted.

Do your products have CE markings?


Do your products have CE markings? You have to do something now, says FBC Manby Bowdler Brexit Director Peter Wilding

The CE mark is gone.

If you have industrial products which are subject to CE Marking requirements when placed on the European Union (EU) market you will now have to have re-certify them. The CE mark is to be replaced with a UK mark. The trouble is the UK government has given no indication about what the process will be to ensure frictionless compliance with the EU. So, producers of toys, electrical equipment, the verification of weighing and measuring equipment and a whole host of other sectors will now have to change labels, equipment and stamps to cope. Production lines will have to be altered to allow for UK marking separate to CE marking, increasing costs.

The problem is that the European Commission has clearly confirmed that, in order to demonstrate compliance with the CE Marking requirements for products “economic operators are advised to take the necessary steps to ensure that, where the applicable conformity assessment procedures require the intervention of a Notified Body, they will hold certificates issued by an EU-27 Notified Body”.

In practice, this means that, as from Brexit Day, companies that wish to continue placing products (see below) on the EU market and that previously relied on conformity assessments carried out by a UK Notified Body, can no longer rely on them.

Anxiety has emerged because the UK government tabled a proposed law only on January 24th setting out plans to alter the certification scheme for the UK only. The problem is that it does not make clear how compliance with the EU regime happens. Worse still, there is no chance that it will be passed through Parliament before Brexit day.

As we stand, the loss of the CE mark and the effective replacement of CE certification and type approval with UK only systems mean certain sectors will see duplication of certification costs. This will make the UK an unattractive market for certain products, especially fast moving consumer goods with tight margins. It will apply to both exporters and importers.

For example, take a look at organic food. The Organic Products Regulations are clear that current certifications lapse and UK producers will no longer be able sell into the EU as they can no longer use the green leaf logo.

Or what about the CE Mark which applies to medical devices such as hip replacements? If unsafe devices are imported into the UK after Brexit day, there is no regulator with authority to take action.

This is an issue not only confined to importers. When selling into the EU market, companies will not be able to go through UK Notified Bodies when a conformity assessment by a Notified Body is required, but will rather have to request EU Notified Bodies to carry out these conformity assessments. This will take time and money.

The reason is that manufacturers currently operating from the UK will no longer be considered to have an establishment in the EU after the UK withdrawal. Consequently, companies have to anticipate that their designation will change under CE Marking legislation, as well as their relevant obligations. That means companies will become importers under CE Marking legislation in relation to products that they want to place on the EU market as from the UK withdrawal date.

You should, therefore, make sure that you are aware of all your conformity obligations post-Brexit. To anticipate these changes and ensure full access of your products to the EU market, it is recommended that you start reviewing your CE Marking conformity assessment procedures and, where you require the intervention of a Notified Body, initiate EU Notified Body assessment procedures or negotiate the transfer of your file from a UK Notified Body to an EU Notified Body.

For more information or to get in touch with our Brexit advisory team contact Peter Wilding on 01694 724440, 07901 008220 or email

What Products Are Covered by CE Marking Requirements?

  • Electrical and electronic equipment
  • Batteries and waste batteries
  • Appliances burning gaseous fuels
  • Eco-design requirements for energy-related products
  • Simple pressure vessels
  • Toys
  • Machinery
  • Measuring instruments
  • Non-automatic weighing instruments
  • Cableway installations designed to carry persons
  • Radio equipment
  • Medical devices and active implantable medical devices
  • In vitro diagnostic medical devices
  • Cosmetics
  • Pressure equipment
  • Aerosol dispensers
  • Lifts and safety components for lifts
  • Recreational craft and personal watercraft
  • Equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
  • Explosives for civil uses
  • Construction products
  • Pyrotechnics
  • Regulation on the labelling of tyres
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Marine equipment
  • Noise emission in the environment by equipment for use outdoors
  • Energy labelling
  • Textile products
  • Metrology
  • Pre-packaged products
  • Hot-water boilers fired with liquid or gaseous fuels
  • Rail system
  • Electronic road toll systems
  • Tachographs in road transport

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