In March 2017 the UK began the process of formal withdrawal from the European Union. We are now crossing into year Two of Britain’s formal two year period of withdrawal (known as Brexit). Where Are We? What’s Been Decided?
The result so far? Precious Little!
All that has happened to date is clarification of the existing status quo.
Earlier this year the EU wrote – “Preparing for Brexit is not just a matter for EU and national authorities, but also for private parties. Businesses are reminded of legal repercussions which need to be considered when the United Kingdom ceases to be a member of the EU.
This document analyses the impact of the UK’s withdrawal on non-food and non-agricultural products placed on the EU27 market as from the withdrawal date, related in particular to identification of economic operators, conformity assessment procedures and Notified Bodies. An indicative list of EU product legislation to which this notice applies can be found in the annex included in the Notice.. – Brexit – guidance to stakeholders on impact in the field of industrial products.
1. all exporters to the EU that are using the UK in their export process should treat the above statement as a shot across their bows
2. Exporters to the EU should immediately begin reassessing the Directives applicable to their products and to monitor these Directives and Regulations for changes and amendments.
3. When Exporters detect changes to the relevant Directives and Regulations they need to verify that their Policies, Processes and Procedures (the 3P’s) are consistent with these changes and to update their 3P’s if they are not.
4. there are numerous changes and amendments being made to Directives and Regulations – this may be a sign that the EU is ‘cleaning up its act’ and resolving the many inconsistencies’ (that we have flagged in many of our blogs and Products). This is a good thing as it will eliminate these inconsistencies. It is also a ‘bad thing’ because it will force exporters to the EU to perform the tasks that they should have been doing and to obey the rules established by the Directives and Regulations. Failure to monitor and maintain compliance with these four items (above) will certainly cause major problems in the future.
A good example of a significant change is increased emphasis on the importance of the REACH Regulation. REACH:- The European Commission has given and promotes the authority of Customs Officials to provide for “the security and safety of the Union and its residents, and the protection of the environment”. This specifically implements authority for Customs officials to enforce REACH regulations at the point of entry
Below we share the current media view from the March 3rd edition of The Economist Magazine.
As one of the US Regulatory Authorities states and we (at Phoenix Technical Group) agree “We are currently focusing on supporting our customers as they navigate the current uncertainty and potential changes to their business.”
Additionally we know, from the Press and News Channels, that: Europe is going to make the UK withdrawal painful, difficult and costly. There is also confusion as to what the UK Government really wants.
UK News Organizations:- In the March 3rd column in The (US edition of the UK) Guardian Newspaper, Ian Jack explores and defines “Eight Reasons we ended up in this Brexit mess“.
Number 1 is Deindustrialisation resulting in a massive loss of jobs and Number 2 is Immigration. If you wish to explore the background issues, please read the entire article linked above.
On Friday, March 2nd, 2018, Prime Minister Theresa May said the U.K. has to face “Hard Facts” (New York Times).
The Status Quo is currently all we have to guide us – this relies heavily upon a number of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA’s) between the EU and Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA.
However, be wary of any future reliance on the MRA between the EU and the US. It is very limited in scope. We will give you an update next time so please look out for the next blog, US UK MRA and what is reality vs. expectations.