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How to comply with the Recreational Craft Regs in a ‘No Deal’ Brexit scenario

Published on: 20 December 2018

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As part of the Government’s preparation planning for a ‘No Deal’ withdrawal from the EU, it has published draft legislation (a statutory instrument or SI) setting out how a wide range of consumer protection regulations will be amended to ensure their continued application in UK law. This includes changes to how the Recreational Craft Regulations are administered. Here British Marine picks out the key elements to ensure members understand how it will all work and what they need to do to prepare.

It should be noted that this legislation will only come into effect should the UK depart the EU without a deal, and that it remains the Government’s objective to leave by means of the Withdrawal Agreement backed by the UK Government and EU last month.

The new Statutory Instrument (SI) that will amend the Recreational Craft Regulations 2017 is part of The Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 and the full text is available to review here.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, then this SI would come into effect immediately from 11pm UK time (GMT) on Friday 29 March 2019 (‘Brexit Day’). The basis of understanding of the changes to all EU derived regulations and directives is that the UK will change from being an EU member state to a third country.

The key points that UK manufacturers of recreational craft and components should be aware of are as follow:

  • CE marked products will still be able to be placed on the market in the UK after ‘Brexit Day’ and will be accepted for a period of 18 months thereafter
  • A new UK certification mark will replace the CE mark on all Recreational Craft Regulation products to be placed on the market in the UK. The transition period from the CE to the new UK marks will last for a period of 18 months
  • ‘Notified bodies’ are defined under the EU Directive (the EU RCD) and therefore after ‘Brexit Day’ they are replaced by an “Approved Body” (the approval being from the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy)
  • ‘Harmonised Standards’ are defined under the EU RCD and therefore after ‘Brexit Day’ they are replaced with ‘Designated Standards’. These will be designated by the Secretary of State and it is unlikely that they will deviate from the current RCD harmonised EN ISO standards for the foreseeable future

All UK boatbuilders will become third country manufacturers after ‘Brexit Day’ therefore the following will apply:

  • It is likely that all UK boatbuilders will have to register their Manufacturers Identity Code (MIC) with an EU Member State Recognised Organisation on 30 March 2019 to ensure the products will continue to be able to be placed on the market within the EU post ‘Brexit Day’. British Marine will be providing a list of Recognised Organisations in the EU, with full contact details and associated costs
  • If the product is placed on the EU market (which includes the UK) before 'Brexit Day', the CE mark can be applied by a UK manufacturer after the craft has been assessed by a UK Notified Body, as this Notified Body is still notified to the Commission, as the UK will still be a Member State
  • If the product is placed on the EU Market after 'Brexit Day', the CE mark still needs to be applied by a manufacturer after assessment by an EU Notified Body, as the UK will not be considered as being in the EU any more and so no bodies based in the UK can be Notified Bodies (they will be Approved Bodies)

Important information and some of the key contacts:

  • Customers of HPi Verification Services (a UK based Notified Body and British Marine member) should contact it if you have not been contacted already. HPiVS has a sister company registered in the Republic of Ireland that has recently been formally accredited for RCD certification. The Irish Government is now processing their application to the EU Commission and HPiVS Ireland expects to be a Notified Body in good time for ‘Brexit Day’
  • Those companies with RYA Notified Body certificates should have already changed notified bodies last year when the new Recreational Craft Regulations came into force
  • Customers of the Vehicle Certification Agency or AV Technology Ltd should contact their offices to verify the process as a matter of urgency

British Marine members with any questions on this draft legislation and how it may impact their businesses, can contact Ross Wombwell, Head of Technical Services, at technical@britishmarine.co.uk.