Legislative parity and transition period priorities for dental industry post-Brexit

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Legislative parity and transition period priorities for dental industry post-Brexit

Negotations between the UK and the EU have stalled recently. (Photograph: vchal/Shutterstock)

Wed. 1 November 2017


LONDON, UK: The British Dental Industry Association (BDIA) has called on the negotiating heads of both the UK and the European Union to agree to a transition period after the Brexit. In a letter addressed to Secretary of State David Davis and chief Brexit negotiator for the EU Michel Barnier, the organisation, together with the Federation of the European Dental Industry (FIDE), said that such an extension would be necessary to assure parity in UK and European medical device legislation in the framework of a new trade agreement.

"Recently published EU legislation will be applicable in the UK until it leaves the EU in March 2019,” they stated in the letter. “Thereafter, there is a risk that UK and EU legislation may diverge, to the detriment of patients and businesses across Europe.”

Among other points, both organisations have recommended that an agreement should include the UK’s adoption of EU medical device regulations and the country remaining an active participant alongside EU member states in the European regulatory framework.

Furthermore, the UK should maintain full involvement and participation in the EU database for medical devices (EUDAMED), they wrote in the letter.

“The production and supply of dental devices often involves a complex cross-border network across Member States. In other international markets, it is non-tariff barriers, often arising from conflicting regulatory regimes, that most seriously limit trade,” they added. “Ensuring that such barriers do not emerge between the EU and UK will be crucial in protecting the future oral health of EU and UK citizens, and the global competitiveness of European dental businesses.”

According to the BDIA, the UK represents one of the key markets in the European dental market, with an annual turnover of almost £0.5 billion. It is the first time that the BDIA and FIDE have publicly announced a detailed list of priorities for the ongoing negotiations.

With their letter, both organisations have joined a growing number of industries worried about the state of Brexit talks and the negative impact of a no-deal scenario as proposed by several members of the UK cabinet, including Prime Minister Theresa May. The start of negotiations for a post-Brexit deal was recently postponed by the EU after discussions about the future rights of EU nationals in the UK and vice versa, and a “divorce bill” stalled in October.

After invocation of Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon, UK membership of the EU will end on 29 March 2019.

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