Is your business prepared for Brexit?

We know that the uncertainty about Brexit has made it difficult to know how to prepare, and that as the deadline approaches and things remain unclear, it's easy to bury your head in the sand. But the countdown to Brexit is on and it's time to get ready and put practical steps in place to make sure your business is ready for 31st October 2019.

Our team of expert advisors can provide bespoke assessments of your business and the areas where your business might be affected by Brexit. providing personalised practical plans to ensure your business is ready for when Britain leaves the EU.

You can start by taking our Brexit checklist quiz to see how your business could be affected by the changes. You can also request a call back from one of our Brexit Advisors to help you work through exactly what your business should be doing to prepare for Brexit right now.

Below you are able to download our FBCMB regional tube maps, where you can find your sector line and see the issues that will affect you on each stop. You will travel through zones covering international standards, EU rules, opportunities, people and trade. On each step of this journey you will need advice and our team are on hand to provide it.

 

The big questions are; how will you do business in the short term in the event of no deal? In the medium term during any transitional period between Brexit and the entry into force of a new UK-EU trade agreement? And in the long term under the new trade agreement?

It is already clear, however, that you or those you supply are not going to enjoy the same access to the EU's Single Market under a trade agreement as you do while the UK is a member of the EU.

The main threat you face is uncertainty about the outcome. Nonetheless, you need to assess the impact of a worst-case-scenario Brexit now, in other words without any withdrawal agreement in place, and have in place contingency plans which are flexible enough to respond to developments in the negotiations.

Our team can help you with all that you need in four 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 the moment they become clear.

  2. Preparation - Prepare for Brexit with and without a deal. To do so, businesses should carry out a Brexit legal impact assessment followed by a Brexit commercial impact assessment. These will form the baseline of any contingency measures. To be Brexitproof, FBC Manby Bowdler’s online survey can help you legally and commercially.

  3. Action - Based on this survey, 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, and stress-test them against a range of Brexit scenarios, whatever industry you operate in.

  4. Influencing - The best way to avoid a Brexit that damages your business is to influence the outcome yourself. Brexit provides an opportunity to do that, which businesses should exploit more. FBC Manby Bowdler has the benefit of advisers in Brussels and London. We can devise and implement policy advocacy strategies to influence the course of further Brexit negotiations, the negotiations on a new trade agreement and build long-term regulatory compliance strategies, including relationship-building with key influencers and government authorities.

Our team of experienced sector specialists has examined the potential impact of Brexit in your sector. Peter Wilding, our Brexit Director, is able to provide in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit, and translate what they mean for manufacturing, agricultural and hospitality clients. He has 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. Few other lawyers have a background so suited to giving Brexit advice.

Do your products have CE markings?

07/02/2019

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 peter.wilding@fbcmb.co.uk.

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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