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Monday 18 January 2021

What will happen with telecommunications equipment that is to be placed on the market from the UK?

Starting from 1st January 2021 the UK will become a third party for the purpose of EU rules, both in trade in goods and services and henceforth trade relations are defined according to the provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement that has been reached between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

This means that, as of 1st January 2021, European regulations will no longer apply in the United Kingdom and therefore companies that introduce goods from the United Kingdom will be considered importers for the purposes of the regulations on the trading of telecommunications equipment. Under EU law, companies have different responsibilities according to their place in the supply chain (manufacturer, importer, wholesaler, etc.).

Such regulation obliges the importer to ensure that the manufacturer has carried out the proper procedure to assess the compliance of the equipment, as well as the inclusion of the CE marking and the name or registered trademark of the importers and his/her postal address, among other obligations. Also, as of that date, the importer must be established in a Member State of the EU-27.

For products that were already physically in the distribution chain (e.g. a wholesale warehouse, or a physical store) or those that were in use by the end user in an EU-27 state before the end of the transitional period (31st December 2020), they are considered to have been placed on the EU market before that date and, therefore, can continue to be traded on that market or remain in use without the need for a new conformity assessment, labelling or modification in the product. This is also valid if the date of the commercial transaction is previous to the end of the transitional period (31st December 2020), even if the delivery of the product to the distribution chain or to the end user is subsequent. All of the latter does not exempt from the obligation to designate a new "person in charge" established in the EU-27 if previously established in the United Kingdom, although it is not necessary to re-label the products with the contact details of the aforementioned person in charge, being sufficient that such information is provided by the company to the competent national authorities.

What will happen with the telecommunications equipment that is to be placed on the UK market?

To export telecommunications equipment from the EU-27 to the UK you should check with the competent authorities in said country.

What will happen with the telecommunications equipment whose conformity has been assessed by a Notified Body in the UK?

Starting from 1st January 2021 the UK will become a third party for the purpose of EU rules, both in trade in goods and services and henceforth trade relations are defined according to the provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement that has been reached between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

EU product legislation requires notified bodies to be established in a Member State and designated by a notifying authority in a Member State to carry out conformity assessment tasks. Consequently, as of 1st January 2021, UK Notified Bodies do not have the status of EU Notified Bodies, and will not be able to carry out conformity assessment tasks in accordance with the relevant regulations affecting telecommunication equipment.

If a company has certificates issued by a UK notified body before the end of the transitional period (31st December 2020) and plans to continue placing the product on the EU market after that date, it will need to apply for a new certificate issued by an EU-27 notified body or transfer (by means of a contractual agreement between the manufacturer, the UK notified body and the EU-27 notified body) the dossier and the corresponding certificate from the UK notified body to the EU-27 notified body, which would become responsible for such a certificate.

Either of the two options indicated in the previous paragraph, both the EU declaration of conformity and the certificate of the notified body must be updated accordingly.

Regarding the marking of the product with the identification number of the EU-27 notified body, if the product was placed on the EU-27 market before the end of the transitional period (31st December 2020) or the product was manufactured before the date of the acquisition or transfer of the certificate, it will not be necessary to modify the notified body number on the product, as long as the documentation referred to in the previous section is in order. However, products manufactured after obtaining or transferring the certificate must be marked with the new EU-27 notified body number.

What will happen with the accreditation certificates issued by the UK Accreditation Service?

Accreditation is a certification issued by a national accreditation body to the effect that a conformity assessment body meets with the applicable requirements to carry out a specific conformity assessment activity. Accreditation is the most appropriate means to demonstrate the technical competence of notified bodies, unless European Union legislation on products provides for another means.

Starting from 1st January 2021 the UK will become a third party for the purpose of EU rules, both in trade in goods and services and henceforth trade relations are defined according to the provisions of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement that has been reached between the United Kingdom and the European Union.

This means that, as of 1st January 2021, European regulations no longer apply in the United Kingdom and therefore the United Kingdom Accreditation Service ceases to be a national accreditation body in the sense and for the purposes of the Regulation. (EC) No. 765/2008. Consequently, their accreditation certificates may not be valid or recognized in the EU-27 in accordance with said Regulation.

Non official translation


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