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STANDARDS POLICY FOR BREXIT

We have been asked to remind members of what happens wrt Standards and Directives when the UK exists membership of the EU.

‘Business as Usual’ is the broad ExecSum on this. Most BSI activity is actually on European (EN) Standards, and BSI is - and will remain - a member of CEN (& CENELEC), which are private organisations completely INDEPENDENT of the European Union. N.B. Both organisations already contain national standards bodies outside of the EU. Leaving the EU does not mean leaving CEN.

To reduce the burden to industry BSI will continue their policy to support the ‘single standard model,’ thus the UK – via BSI - will continue to influence and adopt European Standards (and any international ones CEN adopts. Hence ‘Business as Usual.’

Most standards are voluntary technical standards. However ‘Harmonised Standards’ comprise about 20% of standards and these are triggered by the European Commission in support of European Regulations. Such standards have a special status and give an easy route to regulatory compliance (‘presumption of conformity’). However identical standards support identical regulatory requirements...

As must be abundantly clear, the UK Government is currently in negotiations with the EU on the Brexit arrangements. What those new relationships – especially regulatory ones - will be, has yet to be determined.

EFTA / EEA membership could result in negligible change for example due to the ‘single market.’ WTO rules arrangements would complicate matters, may involve tariffs etc., but would be well known to existing exporters to non-EU countries. However to avoid divergence it is a widely held belief that most existing European legislation will, on exiting the EU, automatically become UK legislation – remembering of course existing EU legislation is IMPLEMENTED here by a mirroring UK Statutory Instrument, essentially they ARE already transcribed into UK laws (with the occasional subtle change in wording). If you want to trade in Europe, you’ll still need to meet the regulations in that market. So again, little change re regulation... for now.

When the referendum result became known, BSI prepared an excellent webinar on this topic. It is available at the web address below. We’d encourage members to read the webpage content before going onto play the video however as there is useful info there.

A further update webinar is planned for 4th December from 10 to 10.30am.

Look out for Governments Industrial Strategy announcement of today too!

https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/about-bsi/uk-nation