Brexit and standards


The UK is set to leave the European Union on 31 October 2019.

The stated policy of the new government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is to renegotiate the existing Withdrawal Agreement that has been rejected on three occasions by Parliament, but it has also stated that if the Agreement cannot be renegotiated then the UK will leave the European Union without any deal on 31 October.

Continuity for Stakeholders

BSI’s membership of ISO and IEC is unaffected by Brexit. As far as continued membership of the European Standards Organizations CEN and CENELEC is concerned, a transition period for the statutes will open on the date of Brexit, regardless of the political outcome of the Brexit process and even in a no deal scenario, until the end of 2020. A working group which includes BSI is currently reviewing the CEN and CENELEC statutes to identify necessary changes to reflect the UK’s changed political relationship with the EU and to ensure that BSI can continue its membership of both organizations on a permanent basis.

Through BSI’s membership of these organizations both at international and European level, UK experts representing over ten thousand UK industry, consumer, academic and government experts will continue to influence standards used worldwide including those that are used to support regulatory requirements.

The Government has announced it is only attending EU meetings in which the UK has significant national interest ahead of the 31?October departure date. This decision by government does not affect committee meetings of CEN and CENELEC or BSI staff liaison with the organizations. BSI stakeholders will continue, without risk of challenge, as chairs, convenors, committee members and policy experts both before and after the UK leaves the European Union and irrespective of the political outcome of the Brexit process.

No-Deal Planning

BSI is planning for a range of possible Brexit outcomes including the outcome in which the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31 October. In addition, preparations are still taking place across government to ensure that, in this case, regulatory continuity will be ensured. This involves the introduction of regulations under the New Legislative Framework including, for certain legislation, a new UK regulatory mark that will be affixed to products or their packaging. The role of this UKCA mark will be to support the authorities and provide clarity to manufacturers placing products on the market in the UK post-Brexit.

Regarding standards, the concept of 'harmonised standards' will be transferred into the UK legal order identically to become ‘designated standards’. From exit day the relevant Secretary of State will cite designated standards for the purposes of providing a presumption of conformity with the applicable regulation, in the same way as the European Commission cites European standards. The relevant Statutory Instrument enabling the creation of this framework for the majority of New legislative Framework regulations was formally adopted in the House of Commons on 20 March and will enter into force on the effective date of Brexit in the case of no-deal.

Further information:

For further information on any standards related question concerning Brexit contact the BSI Brexit and standards team.


For questions linked to the status of BSI notified bodies please contact BSI’s Product Certification mailbox