In the wake of the United Kingdom referendum vote to exit the European Union, questions about its consequences for the regulatory environment going forward abound. Protective equipment manufacturers that have had their products tested by ICS Laboratories and CE-certified by SAI Global can rest assured that their current certificates, as well as those issued in the near future, will remain valid until their stated expiration dates. Due to SAI’s truly global organization, our clients can continue to seek product certification through our partnership with confidence that political changes will not threaten their legitimacy.
In short summary, an exit from the EU by Britain will almost certainly be a lengthy process, one that must take account of immensely complex relationships that have great bearing on global politics, finance and trade. Furthermore, a measured and structured process for the removal of a major member from the EU is provided for (and required by) treaty. While the status of other UK-based notified bodies could be perceived as unclear or volatile during that time of transition, SAI Global’Us status as a truly worldwide organization with multiple offices across each commercially relevant continent offers clear advantages of stability and continuity. The negotiations for the UK’s exit from the union are likely to result in bilateral trade agreements and/or changes to the nature of membership in the European Economic Area, which the United Kingdom may remain part of despite its exit from the EU. These arrangements will undoubtedly speak to regulatory concerns, including those regarding occupational safety and product regulation and may preserve the authority of notified bodies based-in and accredited-by the UK. To wit, entities have been recognized in the non-EU nation states of Switzerland, Norway, and Turkey through the use of MRA’s.
However, if the process yields a reality that does not recognize UK-accreditation of entities certifying products to the CE mark, SAI possess the competence, resources and reach to attain notified body status through one of its many other locations in Europe. Regardless of how the “Brexit” situation shakes out for past and present UK-based notified bodies, ICS Laboratories and SAI Global remain well positioned to provide consistent reliable CE certification for personal protective equipment for our customers around the world.