You may have read our blog piece on Brexit already, but on this page, we keep you updated on how we can assist you, whatever direction Brexit takes.
Firstly, there is little clarity on what the formal UK arrangement with EU will be beyond 31st October 2019. We do know, however, that you will be able to apply for EU Ecolabel in the UK through the UK Competent Body up until that date at least. If that is what you would like to do, time is short, but we can assist you in building and submitting your application. Read about our services here.
After 31st October, a number of things might happen, and a number of choices are open to you as a license applicant. Let’s take them in turn:
- The UK ‘buys into’ the EU Ecolabel scheme
It’s business as usual, a UK Competent Body will be appointed, and you approach them to evaluate your application. As we do now, we can assist you in building and submitting your application, as in our services, above.
- The UK abandons the EU Ecolabel scheme and puts nothing in its place
Under these circumstances, consider carefully why you want an Ecolabel mark and level of awareness of your customers of various eco-marks. For example, if your customers are international operators or they are European customers, it may well be beneficial for you to push ahead with either EU Ecolabel or another ecolabel such as Nordic Swan. If you are selling further afield, be aware that the European ecolabels have high credibility so are still an option. In either case, we have experience of working with other EU Competent Bodies and so can help you identify one and build and submit an application to them.
- The UK creates its own UK Ecolabel
This is a distinct possibility but is unlikely to happen in the short term. For one, Defra attention is focussed on other priorities such as food standards; and secondly it will take some time to commission research into a scheme and its criteria, consult on proposals, publish, enact them, assign a competent body etc. This might take 2-3 years. However, in our extensive experience of operating with Defra and EU Ecolabel, we believe that any such scheme will be highly aligned to the EU Ecolabel in both criteria scope and rigour. For political reasons, though, we might expect some tweaks to make it ‘UK branded’. Despite this, it is unlikely that qualifying for a UK Ecolabel would be at a significantly different level from the EU Ecolabel since that would not ease the challenge of selling into Continental Europe! If and when it comes, we are geared to assist in navigating such a scheme.