November 20, 2020
What do global retailers and brands need to know from a compliance and legislation perspective? Following our webinar “BREXIT: Key Implications for Global Retailers and Brands”, we interviewed Richard Smart, U.K. site lead for consumer products, to provide you with further insights on this important topic.
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QUESTION: What are the most important main consequences for global retailers related to Brexit? What do they have to be prepared for?
Smart: We are regularly contacted for our guidance and opinions on what actions businesses should be taking, and while there is no definitive answer yet, we are recommending planning as though a deal will not be reached. In doing this we believe that businesses will be better positioned to continue trading with minimal impact.
The U.K. Civil Service and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Office for Product Safety & Standards have been providing overviews and information in abundance since September, so we now have access to useful overviews and webinars providing a useful oversight and reference for key information on specific product categories. We would encourage businesses to familiarize themselves with these tools. Farther in the future, without regulatory alignment, it is entirely possible for the U.K. and the EU to diverge and have different compliance requirements and legislation. This will potentially require additional validation or testing for products depending on the changes that will be made.
We don’t know where we will end up in terms of requirements in the future, however it is strongly recommended for businesses in the toy and children’s product industry to ensure that they have a means of monitoring and keeping informed of any changes. We would recommend registering for updates through your third party certification body such as UL and with trade associations such as the BTHA and the TIE.
QUESTION: My products are not covered by CE Marking requirements, will there be any impact on those items in terms of marking or labelling?
Smart: Yes, the General Product Safety Directive in the EU and the U.K. General Product Safety Regulations both call out the need for an importer, manufacturer, or authorized representative to provide address and contact information in the EU community and U.K. respectively.
QUESTION: Will I need to retest my products according to Brexit requirements?
Smart: Provided the U.K. and EU safety legislation remains aligned then no, unless there is a mandatory standard quoted in legislation you will not need to re-test.
QUESTION: If I am only selling in Great Britain and not Northern Ireland is it correct that I do not need to apply the CE marking on my toys?
Smart: That is correct. If the products are not going to Northern Ireland, then the UKCA marking will be required and not the CE marking. It’s an important differentiation.
QUESTION: Do I need to mark products coming into the U.K. with the U.K. name and address details if it already has an EU name and address present?
Smart: Yes, you will need to mark this. First, it’s important to note that the U.K includes Northern Ireland which is being treated differently and will align with the EU. Excluding Northern Ireland will use the term Great Britain. The legislation has changed so either you need to mark with your G.B. operations address or the G.B. importer will need to include their details. We do not know the level of enforcement however the regulatory changes are clear.