Matthew Thorpe, account manager of MTS Global, examines how Brexit will potentially affect the legal landscape for compliance of goods.
Brexit takes effect from March next year. Media headlines have focused on immigration, exit fees, border issues in Ireland etc, but I have yet to hear the Six O’clock News reporting on what Brexit might mean for the toy industry. Brexit could affect the toy industry in any number of ways: import tariffs, Intellectual Property rights and staffing, to name three but safety and the compliance of toys will also be affected.
Having agreed the “divorce bill” a few months ago, trade negotiations are now ongoing, and any final deal requires approval from both sides before 29th March 2019, at which point the UK leaves the EU and any transitional arrangements come into effect.
The good news is that, for the majority of toy products, the situation is a lot simpler than for other industries, as toys go through a self-certification process as part of compliance with the EU’s Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EU. Most readers will know that a toy sold in Europe must carry the CE mark, but a similar requirement applies to items such as computers, lifejackets, oven gloves and cable cars. However, although the CE mark is the same, these other types of items must be certified by a Notified Body laboratory. (Note: NB status applies to a specific laboratory facility based within the EU; a global laboratory group might have numerous laboratories, but only individual ones might hold NB status, not the whole laboratory group).
To read the full article in the July issue of Toy World, click here.