Impact of Potential No-Deal Brexit Scenario on Medical Devices

The currently expected Brexit day of April 12th 2019 is fast approaching and with a no-deal or cliff edge Brexit a very real possibility, there are several key areas for medical device companies to consider in terms of impact to their business in the event of a no-deal Brexit scenario. We wish to highlight here two areas for consideration for the medical devices sector:

  1. Non-European medical device manufacturers that currently use a UK based Authorised Representative
  2. Medical device manufacturers who rely on the services of a UK based Notified Body for their certification

After Brexit on 29th March 2019, the UK will no longer be a Member State of the European Union and will not have direct access to the 27 European Member States. Companies that use a UK based Authorised Representative will be required to have an EU based Authorised Representative. Medical device manufacturers based outside of Europe who currently use the services of a UK based Authorised Representative are advised to consider switching Authorised Representatives as soon as possible. It should be noted that transitioning to a new Authorised Representative involves appointing a new service provider for this purpose but also has implications for labelling, quality systems, registrations in Member States and Certificates of Free Sale among other documentation areas. A streamlined and efficient changeover plan should be discussed with any new Authorised Representative service provider to ensure an orderly transition.

Medical device manufacturers who rely on the services of a UK based Notified Body for their certification are also potentially heavily impacted by a no-deal Brexit scenario. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, Notified Body certificates issued by UK based Notified Bodies will become void after 29th March 2019. In this event, products covered by UK notified body-issued EC Certificates of Conformity will not be able to be lawfully sold in the EU27 on or after 30 March 2019. Each of the four UK Notified Bodies BSI, SGS, UL and LRQA are making arrangements regarding transition plan for client companies who use their services. BSI has established an operation in the Netherlands and has issued advise to client companies regarding migration of certificates. For the other Notified Bodies, we understand that they are also involved in establishing operations in EU Member States but that these may not be in a position to issue new certificates in advance of Brexit date of 29th March. This situation is under intense discussion at national and European level as it is recognised that it presents particular difficulties for companies affected. It is possible that transition arrangements may be put in place to allow for the distribution of devices covered by this specific type of certificate for a limited period of time, ensuring a secure transfer of these certificates.

With Brexit day fast approaching, it is important to be prepared for the possibility of a no-deal situation and what it may mean for your medical device supply chain.

  • Does your company currently use a UK based Authorised Representative?
  • Does your company rely on certification issued by a UK based Notified Body?

Acorn Regulatory is assisting clients in preparing for Brexit, assessing the impact of a potential no-deal Brexit scenario, and how to mitigate risks identified. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.

We have written extensively on the subject of Brexit.  You can read all of our coverage on the topic here.