Coronavirus support: Advice and guidance for businesses COVID-19 Support

Regulation, legal and data

A stable majority in the UK parliament increases the chance of significant domestic regulatory change. Combined with the ongoing negotiations with Europe there is potential for radical adjustments – here are some key areas to consider.

Things to think about
    • Changes to conformity testing – Products made to UK national standards (in areas where there are no EU standards) or conformity tested in the UK may not be legally placed in EU markets after transition. Does this apply to any of your products?

 

    • Potential changes to data handling – Both negotiating teams are hoping to reach an agreement on data adequacy, however if an agreement can’t be reached you may need to implement new safeguards. Do you currently import data from the EU?

 

    • Less access for UK services – There may be restrictions for UK services to access the Single Market. This might be in areas such as insurance, pensions and financial services. What impact will this have on your business and/or supply chain?

 

    • Increased focus on animal and plant health certification – Plants may need phytosanitary certificates, and wooden packaging and pallets may need to be heat treated for transportation into the EU from the UK. Export and import of live animals, fish and Products of Animal Origin will also require physical checks and paperwork.

 

 

Steps to take now
    • Map regulatory exposure by checking all product lines to assess if they conform to EU or UK standards, and identify if the conformity testing is done by a UK or EU body. If EU standards apply, you may need to switch conformity testing to an EU recognised organisation.

 

    • Review data compliance – If you import personal data from the EU you need to implement appropriate safeguards. The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has guidance on model clauses that can be used.

 

    • Review distribution processes and route. Some goods are transported with animal products which may take longer to pass through checks. If stock is being distributed alongside these items, delivery may be delayed.

 

    • Check the small print as detailed rules apply to different products. Make sure you have checked precisely what the individual requirements may be for your goods.

 

    • Identify an EU address for your products – UK exports to the EU must include an EU address for the food business operator or EU importer.

 

  • Follow policy developments – keeping up to date with the latest changes to policies means that businesses can react quickly and informedly.

 

Resources
  • Government Food and Drink Sector Guidance – [Link]
  • FDF and partners from the Trade Association Round Table Q&A resource – [Link]
  • ICO model contract clauses – [Link]
  • GOV guidance on No Deal – [Link]
     
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