What will a post-Brexit world look like when it comes to the import and export of pharmaceuticals and medical devices?
In 2020 the United Kingdom officially withdrew from the European Union after nearly a half century of membership, casting uncertainty on decades of medical device import and export regulations. How does Britain’s new situation compare to that of other “EU-affiliated” nations like Switzerland and Turkey?
1. Economy and Trade
The EU was once Britain’s biggest trading partner, but Brexit has created a new landscape with decidedly mixed results.
2. Employment and Immigration
Brexit has meant an end to the “free movement” of workers between the EU and Britain, and new rules will apply to all seeking work in the UK as well as to British companies with offices in the EU.
3. Northern Ireland
Brexit negotiators on both sides took pains to prevent the re-imposition of border checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, but the results of Brexit have been chaotic notwithstanding.
Scotland’s clear division of opinion with the rest of the UK regarding Brexit has placed growing pressure on its centuries-old union with England.
5. Medical Devices
The approval and placement of medical devices on both British and EU markets is shaping up to be much more complex with the now disparate EU and UK regulatory frameworks.
Post-Brexit, pharmaceutical companies will need to be more careful with their supply chains to determine when certain products might benefit from tariff and quota-free trade provisions to avoid double payment of duties.
The EU and Switzerland have been engaged in a growing political disagreement over proposed changes to the regulatory framework for medical devices.
A bright spot amid the regional turmoil is the recent avoidance of a Brexit-style exit from EU agreements by Turkey.
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