News of 27 October 2020
Brexit and CE marking: be quick now!
Since the United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020, the two sides have been negotiating the future relationship. There is a transitional phase until the end of 2020. During this phase the UK will remain part of the EU internal market and the EU customs union. There is a high risk that no agreement can be reached.
In concrete terms, the agreement will address, among other things, whether and under what conditions customs duties will be applied in the future and whether existing common norms and standards will be mutually recognised. Unfortunately, it is not clear at this stage what will apply from 2021. The Brexit will make the UK a third country from next year and in the absence of agreement the World Trade Organisation rules will apply.
This also has consequences for the CE marking. Certificates from British certifiers will then no longer be valid in the 27 other EU member states and the products can no longer be marketed in the EU. At the end of the transitional period, the EU Construction Products Regulation will no longer apply.
During the transitional period, however, all harmonised product legislation will apply as a result of the withdrawal agreement. This means that CE-marked construction products can continue to be placed on the UK market for some time. However, it should be noted that the products will be placed on the market during the transitional period, i.e. until the end of 2020. Only then will their CE marking be accepted in the UK indefinitely. It therefore makes sense to have tests for CE marking carried out as soon as possible. This means that products for the United Kingdom can be placed on the market before the end of this year.
After that, the CE marking will be replaced in the United Kingdom by the new UKCA (United Kingdom Conformity Assessed) mark. There will also be a transitional period. Construction products placed on the market from 1 January 2021 will be able to continue to bear the CE marking on the UK market until 1 January 2022. From 2022 products must then bear the new UKCA marking. The UKCA mark will not be recognised on the EU market. Products destined for the EU market will continue to require CE marking.
Although in principle the CE marking can still be used until January 2022, it is recommended that products are placed on the market before January 2021. This is the only way to have the advantage that the CE marking is even accepted indefinitely.