From January 1, 2021, the UK will no longer be part of the EU’s single market and customs union.
As one of the world’s leading providers of testing, inspection and certification services with a presence in 30 countries, Element has significant operations in the EU. In the interests of continuing to fully support our customers, we have reviewed the potential impact of Brexit on our business.
Our European business currently benefits from EU laws and regulations, particularly in relation to the free movement of goods, services and people. Although we foresee a number of risks and challenges resulting from Brexit, we do not believe that it will materially impact the services we provide from our locations in Europe or the UK and remain committed to offering high quality, uninterrupted service to our customers. We are well diversified across industries and geographies, with the ability to move customer work around our laboratory network giving us great resilience.
We have reviewed the potential impact of the UK’s exit from the EU on testing regimes and certification programmes and we continue to engage with the relevant representative bodies and working groups as required. Many of the standards and schemes under which we operate are international in nature or are client-specific; accordingly, we anticipate little or no impact in these areas.
We have carried out a range of risk assessments and implemented measures to mitigate risks where we can and we are confident that there will be no material impact on our operational or technical capacity in the UK after the country leaves the EU, irrespective of a deal or lack thereof. We have also been stress testing our supply chains and establishing contingencies where necessary. Despite the uncertainty continuing to surround Brexit at this time, we are satisfied that customers in the UK and the EU will be able to retain all the necessary certifications they require, with little or no disruption to their business.
UKAS remains a full member of the European co-operation for Accreditation (EA) until January 31, 2022. Element has achieved additional accreditations in certain EU Member States since the triggering of Article 50 on March 29, 2017 and is verifying that all accreditations required are in place to ensure business continuity for our customers.
In the event of a no deal Brexit on December 31, 2020, UK Notified Bodies will no longer be recognized for CE marking purposes in the EU. Through our Notified Bodies in the EU and the UK, Element will be able to continue to test and certify customers’ products for these respective markets from January 1, 2021 under legislation pertaining to the EU CE Mark, the UKCA Mark and the UK(NI) Mark.
Irrespective of the agreed trading relationship that the UK has with the EU, Element will be in a position to continue to serve its customers with confidence.