Textile Services Perspective of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit

The Brexit deadline is getting closer and negotiations seem set to continue into the 11th hour. With the shadow of a “no deal” not yet dispelled, the UK Government has released a number of documents addressing what will change to the way we conduct business with the EU in case the country was to leave without an agreement, including how the UK will implement sanctions.

To help our Members be prepared in such an event, we have compiled a brief summary of the guidance issued by the Government in the areas most likely to affect the industrial laundry sector. Look out for a more in-depth piece on No Deal Brexit and workplace rights in our Advisor Magazine later this month.

Trading of Goods

One of the main highlights will be in relation to the goods traded between the UK and the EU. After 23h on 29 March 2019 the goods traded between the UK and the EU will be subject to the same requirements as third country goods, including the payment of duty if no agreements have been reached. Under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, the principle of most-favoured-nation (MFN) treatment means that, unless a preferential agreement is in place, the same rate of duty, on the same good, must be charged to all WTO members equally.

For UK exports to the EU, the EU will require payment of customs duty at the rate under the EU’s Common Customs Tariff. For goods imported to the UK from the EU, the UK will require payment of customs duty at the rate set by the UK Government.

Nominated Person

Businesses with an authorised representative based in the UK will need to establish a new authorised representative in an EU country if they want an authorised representative to carry out tasks on their behalf within the EU.

Chemicals Regulations

Companies registered with REACH would no longer be able to sell into the EEA market without transferring their registrations to an EEA-based organisation. Companies would therefore need to take action to preserve their EEA market access.

UK downstream users currently importing chemicals from an EEA country would face new registration requirements. Under the UK’s replacement for REACH, importers would have a duty to register chemicals. Similarly, UK downstream users of authorisations would no longer be able to rely on authorisation decisions addressed to companies in the remaining EEA countries.

Workplace rights

The workers in the UK will continue to be entitled to the rights granted by EU law, as they have also been included in UK law. However, there will be implications in relation to Employer Insolvency and European Works Councils.

UK businesses with European Works Councils, and trade unions that are parties to European Works Council agreements, may need to review those agreements in light of there no longer being reciprocal arrangements between the UK and the EU.

Non-Harmonised Goods

UK businesses who have already exported a non-harmonised good (including pressure systems and measurement equipment) to an EU country by meeting the relevant national requirements will not need to take any specific action. UK businesses who import non-harmonised goods into the UK will need to ensure they meet UK national requirements.

Non-UK businesses exporting non-harmonised goods (including textiles) to the UK will need to ensure that the goods meet UK national requirements, regardless of whether they were previously lawfully marketed in another EU country or in the UK. Businesses wishing to appoint a new authorised representative to carry out tasks on their behalf in the UK will need to appoint a representative located in the UK.

Medical Devices

The UK will recognise medical devices approved for the EU market and CE-marked. Should this change in future adequate time will be provided for businesses to implement any changed new requirements. The UK will comply with all key elements of the Medical Devices Regulation (MDR) and the in vitro diagnostic Regulations (IVDR), which will apply in the EU from May 2020 and 2022 respectively. Formal UK presence at EU committees in respect of devices will cease.

Ireland

The Irish government have indicated they would need to discuss arrangements in the event of no deal with the European Commission and EU countries. The UK would stand ready in this scenario to engage constructively to meet our commitments and act in the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland, recognising the very significant challenges that the lack of a UK-EU legal agreement would pose in this unique and highly sensitive context.

It remains the responsibility of the UK government, as the sovereign government in Northern Ireland, to continue preparations for the full range of potential outcomes, including no deal taking into account the unique circumstances.

Another area of change likely to affect members of the industry is road haulage across the border and in the EU.

If you have any questions or need any additional information, please email shyju.skariah@tsa-uk.org.

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