The Government has confirmed that charity shops will still be able to sell goods with the Conformité Européene (CE) marking after Brexit if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
Previously, the Government had stated that in the case of a “no deal” Brexit, the requirements for placing certain products on the UK and EU markets, including the arrangements for conformity assessment, marking and labelling, would change.
Earlier this year, the Charity Retail Association wrote to Greg Clarke, Secretary of State at BEIS highlighting the problems and possible costs to charity shops of such a change - charity shops are likely to receive CE marked donations from donors for some years after Brexit, and some charities buy in a small amount of stock to ensure stock certainty in their shops, which means there may be a backlog of new items bearing the CE mark at the time of the exit date.
The Charity Retail Association therefore asked the Government to take steps to protect trade in second-hand goods by charity shops in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, by:
- making sure that charity shops were not required to change the labelling on goods bearing the CE mark after Brexit, which would be a costly exercise,
- allowing CE marked items to be sold by charity shops whenever they were donated after a “no deal” Brexit, and
- granting as lengthy a “grace period” as possible for charity shops to make provisions for the changes.
The Government has now responded to a written question by Toby Perkins, MP for Chesterfield, and confirmed that:
“In the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, the Government is taking the decision to adopt a continuity approach in some areas, such as CE marked products, and continue to recognise CE marking as now. This means that charity retailers and other second-hand retailers can continue to place second hand goods with CE marking on the UK market, as before, for a time-limited period. There will be no need to reassess or re-mark goods, thereby minimising costs to business and consumers.
As products that meet EU requirements can continue to be placed on the UK market without any need for reassessment or re-marking, CE marked products will therefore not be required to be re-marked with a UK Marking. This includes second hand products.”
The Government has also committed to consulting with charity retailers before taking any decision to end the period of recognition of the CE marking.
More information on the future arrangements for the regulation of many goods covered in a ‘no deal’ situation can be found in the Government’s guidance “Trading goods regulated under the ‘New Approach’ if there’s no Brexit deal”.