Certificates, licences and authorisations are required for trade in the EU for many types of goods such as medical devices and construction products, and for services such as in the transport sector.
As of 1 January 2021, UK notified bodies are no longer authorised to certify the compliance of products with EU rules and standards in respect of specific regulatory controls, public safety and health.
For businesses that relied on UK Notified Bodies for conformity assessment certificates, it is vital to source an alternative approved Notified Body established in the EU.
This may involve transferring existing certificates to a Notified Body in another EU Member State or obtaining new ones altogether.
Companies that source products, requiring EU certification, from the UK should engage with their EU-based Notified Bodies.
The European Commission’s NANDO website also provides a list of designated EU Notified Bodies as well as a list of Irish-based Notified Bodies.
Importers of products/ingredients that require organic certification should ensure that the certifying body of the UK product has been recognised by the EU Commission. Companies exporting to the UK should check the UK Government website.
Other impacts in this area that businesses should consider include requirements to register products on EU databases; requirements to be established in the EU (which will no longer include the UK) and requirements relating to the marking and labelling of goods.
In relation to industrial products (including construction products), manufacturers, distributors, importers and authorised representatives must comply with their obligations and responsibilities under EU product legislation when placing a product on the EU market. For example, an economic operator established in the EU who, prior to the end of the transition period, was considered as an EU distributor of products received from the UK will become an importer for the purposes of EU product legislation in relation to such products as of the end of the transition period. This operator will have to comply with the more stringent obligations applicable to an importer.
Further information on market surveillance is available in the Government’s Market Surveillance Plan for Ireland (2019).
For companies importing chemicals from the UK
If you plan on importing chemicals from the UK you need to ensure that the import of these products complies with EU regulations. The Health and Safety Authority operates a chemicals helpdesk , which can assist businesses with questions associated with the import of chemical products.
Professional qualifications and licences to practise
EU professional qualifications obtained prior to 1 January 2021, will continue to be recognised in the UK and likewise existing UK qualifications, obtained prior to 1 January 2021, will continue to be recognised in the EU. This recognition is supported by a number of measures including provision in the Withdrawal Agreement for the grandfathering of currently recognised qualifications.
Any person applying to have their qualification recognised for the first time from 1 January 2021 will no longer be covered by the EU’s Professional Qualifications Directive. The recognition of new EU qualifications in the UK and vice-versa, will continue to be possible although this will be based on national rules and processes and may be more complex.
If you have a query about your professional qualification, you should contact the relevant regulatory body for your profession.
Fluorinated Gas (F-Gas)
Under EU Regulation EU 517/2014 (and associated implementing regulations) those working with F-Gas equipment (primarily in the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump sectors but also fire suppression, mobile air conditioning, solvents, and electrical switchgear) must be certified by an EU certification body, and the legislation also requires mutual recognition of certificates obtained in EU Member States. Now that the UK is a third country, arrangements for the mutual recognition of UK qualifications and certificates have ceased to apply in the EU. Individuals who previously relied on a UK certificate need to recertify in order to continue to operate in the sector and to avoid the potential need to retrain.
The Brexit Omnibus Bill contains provisions that extend the mutual recognition of UK qualifications in Ireland for an additional six months (until June 30, 2021). It also allows for the re-certifying of individuals with UK F-gas certificates/qualifications to continue during this six-month period (individuals can apply for recertification during the first four months of this period).