Since the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU), LabCorp and its drug development business unit, Covance, have been evaluating its potential impact across the pharmaceutical industry in Europe and the UK. We have been ready since the initial Brexit deadline of 29 March 2019 to provide our clients with continuing services, regardless of the ultimate results of the negotiations between the UK and the EU.
On December 24, 2020, the UK and the EU reached an agreement on their future relationship. The EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement has since been approved by the UK Parliament and the European Council in expedited procedures. The Agreement came provisionally into effect on January 1 (following its signing on December 30, 2020) until February 28, awaiting the confirmatory vote of the European Parliament. The Agreement aims to minimize barriers to trade created as a result of the UK leaving the EU single market and to minimize disruption following the introduction of customs formalities on January 1. We have obtained Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certification for our Harrogate (UK) and York (UK) sites to help reduce the risk of delays at the post-Brexit border (AEO status is an internationally recognized quality mark indicating secure international supply chains, and efficient and compliant customs controls and procedures).
Labcorp and Covance welcome that an agreement has been reached and will continue to closely track potential legislative or regulatory changes in the region. We remain confident that we will be prepared for any UK regulatory scenario and UK-EU trade relationship.