Editor’s Note (Updated June 27, 2016): Britain has voted to leave the European Union, a monumental decision that’s triggering some serious alarm bells throughout the country. As it stands, many UK laws and regulations are determined by EU legislation and it’s not immediately clear what the EMC standards ramifications in Britain will be during the two year transition and in the future after that.
There’s still a long road ahead, and many of the concerns expressed by the EMC standards community are likely to be addressed in the coming negotiations. Panic is obviously not the way to go, and to understand the issues with more clarity, I’ve asked John Woodgate and Keith Armstrong, product regulations/EMC consultants and standards experts in England, to provide some initial analysis.
In the meantime, we would invite your comments on the issue. See below.
Britain after Brexit, with the accent on EMC – Part 1
Of course, all this could be wildly wrong, and disasters forecast by the ‘Remain’ faction may happen. But most events are not beyond our control. We just have to be clever enough to control them correctly.
Britain after Brexit, with the accent on EMC – Part 2
Yes it is big news, but I don’t feel that I have anything very significant to say about how the issues you mention might be affected.
All I can say is that, from my point of view as a design consultant, whatever country I am working in (most recently Australia, New Zealand, Belgium and England, UK) if my customers want to sell to the EU they must declare compliance to all relevant EU Directives and most find that easiest to do by declaring that they have applied all the relevant standards that have been notified under those Directives in the OJEU.
As far as I can see, this process and its associated documentation is exactly the same for any country in the world that is outside the EU – as it is for manufacturers in Belgium and in the UK (both of whom are currently Member States within the EU).
I suppose that if the UK actually left the EU (which is by no means a certainty, and anyway would most likely take 2 or more years to happen) UK experts would no longer be involved with creating EN standards. But as EN standards are mostly based on international standards anyway, and UK experts would still be involved on those international committees, I don’t see any big changes happening.
It is interesting to note that even though the UK is still a Member State within the EU, it has not yet published National Regulations corresponding to the new EMC or LV Directives which came into force on 20th April 2016 (2104/30/EU and 2014/35/EU respectively).
Normally we in the UK would have seen draft UK Regulations at least a year in advance of the date when new EU Directives required National Regulations to be enforced, but not this time.
Quite possibly this same situation applies to all the other EU Directives which came into force on that date, too.
I am told that enquiries by others were told by the responsible UK government departments that they were waiting for the outcome of the referendum.
So it is already the case that manufacturers in the UK have National Regulations that are not harmonized with the corresponding EU Directives, just like manufacturers in China, Japan, the USA, or anywhere else outside the EU!