Many manufacturers selling industrial products into the EU market have come to understand at least one of the environmental protection Directives, RoHS — the “restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances.” In this post, I’m going to be looking at another environmental directive: WEEE — the “Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment” Directive (2012/19/EU). Continue reading “Are You Ready? WEEE Directive Full Implementation Starts 15-Aug-18″
CE, Brexit and Authorised Representatives
We’re just passing the T-1 year mark on the UK’s journey towards leaving the EU. Some of my readers are “Leavers”, while others are “Remainers”, but for everyone living in the UK or doing business with the UK, there are many questions that remain unclear. To be fair, some of the lack of clarity is due to the negotiation process that Prime Minister May’s government is engaged in, and some of it is the result of the complexity in the EU-UK relationship. I hope to add some clarity to this situation, at least as far as the impact on third-country manufacturers and CE Marking is concerned.
What is an Authorised Representative?
Whether or not a manufacturer is based in the EU, they may use an Authorised Representative to carry out certain tasks, such as [1, 3.2]:
- keeping the EU declaration of conformity and the technical documentation at the disposal of national surveillance authorities and cooperate with them at their request,
- providing that National Authorities with all the information and documentation necessary to demonstrate the conformity of a product,
- taking actions to eliminate the risks posed by products covered by their mandate,
- affix the CE marking and notified body’s number to the product,
- draw up and sign the EU declaration of conformity.
Manufacturers located outside the EU may be obliged to have an Authorised Representative by the Directives applicable to their products. Commercial representatives such as authorised distributors or agents, should not be confused with the “authorised representative” in the meaning of Union harmonisation legislation.
Having an Authorised Representative entails specific contractual obligations. The EU Blue Guide  can help you to understand those obligations and the provisions that are relevant to the agreement. Since I am not a lawyer, I can’t provide you with specific legal advice on this topic but an EU contracts lawyer can help you with the necessary arrangements. Many of the organizations that have been providing these services for many years have ready-made contracts that fulfil the requirements and can get you set-up quickly.
How will Brexit affect your CE Mark?
Since the UK joined the European Economic Community (EEC) on 1-Jan-1973 , , , the relationship has become a complex one, and disentangling this relationship is going to take some time.
On the surface, third-country manufacturers are not required to have an EU-based Authorised Representative , however, some CE Marking Directives include explicit requirements regarding Authorised Representatives, while others like the Machinery Directive, have implicit requirements that result in third country manufacturers need to have an Authorised Representative based in the EU.
If you have a contract with an Authorised Representative currently based in the UK, your CE Mark will no longer be valid on 1-Apr-2019 unless you make other arrangements .
How will Brexit affect my Authorised Representative?
Since the UK and Northern Ireland will be leaving the EU at the end of March, 2019, any organization that offers Authorised Representative services will no longer be able to meet the requirement for being based in the EU. Where an individual is acting as an Authorised Representative, they have the option to move from the UK to any other EU Member State before the UK officially exits the union. Where an organization is providing an Authorised Representative service, they have the option to move their corporate headquarters to any other EU Member member state. Once they can show that they are based in an EU country, then they can legitimately offer Authorised Representative services again.
Need help with CE Marking? I can help! Contact me at +1 (519) 650‑4753 or by email.
 European Commission, “Commission Notice — The ‘Blue Guide’ on the implementation of EU products rules 2016″, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018.
 “When did Britain decide to join the European Union? – UK in a changing Europe”, Ukandeu.ac.uk, 2018. [Online]. Available: http://ukandeu.ac.uk/fact-figures/when-did-britain-decide-to-join-the-european-union/. [Accessed: 30- Mar- 2018].
 “BBC News — A timeline of the EU”, News.bbc.co.uk, 2018. [Online]. Available: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3583801.stm. [Accessed: 30- Mar- 2018].
 European Commission, “Commission Notice — The ‘Blue Guide’ on the implementation of EU products rules 2016″, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2016.
 DIRECTORATE-GENERAL FOR INTERNAL MARKET, INDUSTRY, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SMEs, “NOTICE TO STAKEHOLDERS—WITHDRAWAL OF THE UNITED KINGDOM AND EU RULES IN THE FIELD OF INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTS”, European Commission, Brussels, 2018.
Canada’s Participation in ISO TC 270
In February of 2016, Canada formed the SCC Mirror Committee (SMC) to ISO TC 270, Rubber and Plastics Machinery. This international technical committee is currently developing ISO 20430, the first international plastic injection moulding machine standard. Until the publication of ISO 20430, two standards have been fighting for dominance: EN 201, Plastics and rubber machines — Injection moulding machines — Safety requirements, and ANSI B151.1, American National Standard for Plastics Machinery — Horizontal Injection Moulding Machines — Safety Requirements for manufacture, Care and Use.
Canada has a strong plastic and rubber industry, with key equipment manufacturers like Athena Automation, Husky Injection Molding Systems, Mold Masters and GN Plastics among others producing world class machinery for the industry. The industry is represented nationally by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association. Despite this, Canada has never had its own standard for this type of machinery.
Involvement in ISO TC 270 allows Canada’s plastics industry to have a voice in developing the international standards for the machinery they design and build, and which ever more commonly, they buy and use.
The committee needs your help to know which way Canadian industry wants us to focus our efforts as the work on ISO 20430 wraps up in coming months. We have a short survey, just three questions long, where you can rank five possible topics we can focus on. We will be submitting our committee vote in early August on the topic, so you have a month or so to answer the questionnaire. Let us know your preferences.
Until the publication of ISO 20430, two standards have been fighting for dominance: EN 201 in Europe, and ANSI B151.1 in North America. Until the relatively recent formation of ISO TC 270 in 2012, there were NO international standards for this type of machinery. While there have been some efforts to harmonise the European and ANSI standards, there are still some significant gaps between these standards. In addition, ANSI’s B151 committee has a number of additional standards for auxiliary equipment for items like robots designed to unload molds, that are not directly addressed in EN standards.
Canada was given a chance to participate through our ongoing friendship with ANSI and the USA, so between 2012 and 2015, Canadian delegates attended ISO TC 270 working group meetings informally, and put Canada’s perspective forward through the US ANSI TAG committee, but in 2016 it became clear that we needed to form our own committee. If you are involved in the industry and you are a member of one of these general groups and would like to get involved with standards development, please go to our recruiting page and join us!
Committee Membership Matrix
|Producer Interest (PI)||3||5||3|
|User Interest, Management (UM)||3||5||1|
|User Interest, Labour (UL)||3||5||0|
|Regulatory Authority (RA)||3||5||1|
|General Interest (GI)||3||5||1|
As you can see from the table, we need members in every group except the producers to meet our intended balance.
Definitions of the Categories
Producer Interest (PI) — Machine builders, Auxiliary Equipment Manufacturers, Consultants, and Engineering Companies providing for-profit services related to plastics and rubber machinery.
User Interest, Labour (UL) — Canadian labour unions, labour organizations, and individual workers located at Canadian workplaces.
User Interest, Management (UM) — Trade associations, companies, contractors, and organizations representing companies engaged in work performed in Canada.
Regulatory Authorities (RA) — OHS provincial and federal regulatory bodies (labour and electrical).
General Interest (GI) — Safety associations, research organizations, institutions, and non-commercial consultants who have expertise in the subject area.
We need your help!
CAC ISO TC 270 needs your help!
Can you volunteer some time? Sign up!
Can you help direct us? Answer our questionnaire!
Need more information? Contact Doug Nix!