1. What has been decided?
The General Assemblies of the European Standards Organizations CEN and CENELEC have approved a plan that secures BSI’s full membership post-Brexit. This comprises a transition period for their statutes until the end of 2020, including a derogation for BSI from certain eligibility clauses, during which time BSI will undergo an independent review of its processes and both CEN and CENELEC will agree any necessary revisions to their statutes.
2. Why was this decision taken?
There was a real risk of creating instability for the entire CEN and CENELEC system, in the absence of any decision by CEN and CENELEC, through challenging BSI’s ongoing participation in technical committees and in the decision-making bodies of CEN and CENELEC after Brexit.
3. Does this mean that BSI will no longer be a member of CEN and/or CENELEC from January 2021?
No, the purpose of the transition period is to review and update the statutes in order to deliver a permanent solution for BSI’s continued membership at the end of 2020.
4. What does this decision mean for BSI experts in CEN and CENELEC technical committees and working groups?
The decision means that BSI continues as a full member of CEN and CENELEC and provides certainty that UK experts’ involvement in technical committees and working groups cannot be challenged after the date of Brexit.
5. What happens if there isn’t a political deal between the UK and the EU?
The transition period and accompanying derogation from the CEN and CENELEC statutes will apply from the date of the UK’s exit from the European Union regardless of the outcome of the negotiations on an exit deal between the UK and EU, including where there is no such deal at all.
6. What does the membership assessment of BSI entail?
Membership of CEN and CENELEC requires periodic assessment against membership criteria and performance factors set out in CEN-CENELEC Guide 20. BSI is therefore familiar with this form of assessment, and indeed is about to go through this process at the start of 2019. The assessment includes transparency issues like making available drafts, work programmes and deliverables, participation and stakeholder representation, impartiality, independence, neutrality and consensus, coherence, and status as the National Standards Body.
7. What does this mean for CE marking?
There are no direct implications for CE marking which is a regulatory requirement for certain products.
8. What if I have any further questions about standards and Brexit?
These should be addressed to the following mailbox at BSI: email@example.com.