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BSI report pushes for full post-Brexit membership of European standards bodies

Position paper published following a consultation backs retaining close relationship with CENELEC and European Committee for Standardisation to ensure UK retains influence on key decisions

The British Standards Institution (BSI) and its member organisations are pushing for the UK to retain full membership of key European standards organisations after Brexit to ensure industry can still influence key decisions around product innovation and trade.

A Brexit position paper has been issued by the BSI following consultation with a range of members, which includes the Federation of Environmental Trade Associations (FETA), over key aims for how fresh standards may be devised once the UK is no longer a member of the European Union.

BSI said that it would aim to continue work on giving UK experts a standards development framework that would allow its members to continue to trade and provide technologies such as cooling appliances and equipment to Europe and other global markets. The organisation argued that meeting this ambition would be dependent on retaining full membership of the European standards organisation.

As part of its recent consultation, the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances (AMDEA) is among organisations to back ongoing compliance with the work of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC).

AMDEA technical manager Richard Hughes said, “Standards have long been used by regulators and industry as a means of demonstrating conformity with legal requirements. AMDEA foresee that this will continue for both the UK and EU after Brexit and so it is vital that BSI remain within CEN and CENELEC so as to prevent technical barriers to trade from developing.”

The BSI said the position paper’s recommendations were based on a number of principles such as playing up the importance of standards as a passport to trade and safeguarding a simplified market structure that allows for single national standard models to be used across up to 34 countries.

Other considerations included noting that the European standards system is not owned by, or operates as an agency of the EU, but ensures the UK has a significant influence in development of European standards that impact domestic regulation.

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