BEAMA and Gambica have written to Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Alok Sharma warning of escalating regulatory compliance costs at the end of the transition period for the UK exit from the EU.
As our industry prioritizes bringing staff back to work and ensuing UK supply chains are running at normal capacity again in the wake of COVID-19, businesses are now facing significant costs of regulatory compliance as new UK regulations come into force post the transition period of the UK exit from the EU.
Particular focus is paid to chemicals regulations and the replacement of the CE mark in the UK with the UKCA mark.
From day one these regulations will be identical to those complied with in the EU, therefore BEAMA and GAMBICA call for derogations and transitional arrangements for specific regulations to allow manufacturers in the UK time to prepare and to limit the financial burden this will incur.
This request comes when the Government advice and guidance on how the new regulatory requirements are to enforced is delayed, leaving companies in the dark on what their legal requirements will be.
BEAMA and GAMBICA warn of the risk these changes will have on UK sales and trade if enforced in such a tight timescale.
What can be deemed as conservative estimates indicate that affixing the new UKCA mark alone could cost BEAMA and GAMBICA industries £440million in the next 6 months.
The Electrotechnical industry and it’s trade bodies are fully aware of the changes that will be required for product regulations and compliance in the UK from the 1st January 2021. However, evidence we have submitted today demonstrates that for companies to deliver on this would be in many circumstances near impossible in the time frame now available, and that is assuming we see official guidance this month from Government. We are keen to work with Government departments to establish the best approach in delivering the new regulatory regime for our industry in the UK, but we ask that this is done sensitively given the delays in guidelines and the significant impact COVID-19 has had on our sector. Otherwise we risk unnecessarily applying a double blow to industry and our economy
The requirement to UKCA mark products by 1st January 2021 does not give sufficient time for companies to implement this across all products and stock. The risk is not only the cost during a time of economic instability, but that products cannot be made available on the UK market and resources are diverted from other essential activities to maintain business competitiveness. A 12-18 month extension where CE Marking can continue to be accepted in the UK would allow industry to adapt to the changes without these risks.