Catering equipment suppliers demand answers after document exposes Brexit product hurdles

An EU Commission document detailing the impact of Brexit on manufacturers, suppliers and importers operating in the UK “does not make easy reading” for the catering equipment industry, it has been claimed.

The guide seeks to provide an overview of possible implications in terms of product legislation, but the complexity of the issues that it presents has led trade body CESA to seek meetings with officials.

It hopes that by holding talks with relevant bodies involved in the legislation it can map out the implications for its members and look for ways to mitigate them.

The document is headlined ‘Withdrawal of the United Kingdom and EU rules in the field of industrial products.’

It lists many of the challenges that UK companies will face after Brexit. Any manufacturer or importer based in the UK will no longer be considered to operate within the EU. This has a whole raft of implications – such as the need for a ‘qualified third party, known as a Notified Body’ to become involved in assessing the conformity of products.

After the withdrawal, the EU will not recognise product testing that has been undertaken by UK Notified Bodies.

The document also includes a list of product legislation, a large number of which are relevant to the catering equipment industry.

They range from general product safety, use of hazardous substances, Ecodesign and Energy Labelling to pressure equipment, construction products and electromagnetic compatibility.

CESA is discussing the issues with DEXEU (the Department for Exiting the European Union) and BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), as well as Test Houses and the BSI Group (the UK standards body).

The document and its implications will be discussed at the next CESA Technical Forum, on Thursday 22 February 2018 at CESA’s offices in London.

“I would urge members to attend the meeting,” said CESA director Keith Warren. “This is a complex issue and we need clarity – members will get the very latest feedback and analysis, and be able to share their concerns and ideas.”

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