British fire safety firms need to take ‘plan B action’ and start preparing for what Brexit could mean when it comes to selling products in Europe, according to one expert.
Speaking at FIREX International 2019 event recently, Apollo’s Head of System Integration and Technical Support, Paul Pope, said, “Companies should be prepared to do “business as usual” and ensure supply chains are maintained. You cannot be prepared for Brexit if you secretly believe it won’t happen,” he told delegates.
Brexit effect on British Fire Industry
Mr. Pope was speaking about what Brexit will mean for the British fire safety industry
Mr. Pope was speaking about what Brexit will mean for the British fire safety industry, which is due to take place by the end of 2019, although circumstances may change. He started by giving an introduction to the current EU Guidance around Construction Products Regulation (CPR) and how Brexit could affect manufacturers in the UK and abroad.
Paul stated at the event, “EU CPR was first introduced in 1989 under the Construction Products Directive. It was then replaced by a higher compulsory marking standard, in particular for fire protection products in 2011, which places obligations on manufacturers, distributors and importers of construction products”.
EU Guidance around Construction Products Regulation (CPR)
“Everybody has a duty of responsibility in the chain. Non-compliance on the part of event one individual means the entire chain fails,” Mr. Pope told the event, adding “There are legal implications, and, in some cases, there are prison sentences.”
The CPR regulations require products to be CE marked before they can be sold or resold anywhere in the EU. All certifications are issued by notified bodies, which are independent, non-governmental third parties recognized by the EU or EEA.
Possibility of ‘no deal’ Brexit
Mr Pope said at the FIREX International event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal for UK-based EU notified bodies to remain in that role, products that meet existing EU requirements can continue to be placed on the UK market for a limited period.
A notified body is authorized to conduct assessments for products meeting harmonized EU standards"
“A notified body is authorized to conduct assessments for products that meet the requirements of harmonized EU standards, or in the absence of normalized, a European technical assessment”, said Mr. Pope. He adds, “There are currently 189 EU notified bodies based in the UK, which employ 4,500 people”.
Recertification by EU notified body
“The government has already stated there will be a new UK CE mark, but we don’t know the details,” he explained, adding “Products that meet the requirements of a UK conformity mark can be placed on the UK market, as long as a third-party testing has been carried by a UK notified body. And that UK-based EU notified bodies will automatically become UK approved bodies and will be listed on a new database”.
But products which were tested by a UK notified body will need to be retested or re-certified by an EU notified body before being sold on the continent. “Essentially on