The United Kingdom has left the EU Single Market and Customs Union

01/01/2021

The United Kingdom has left the EU Single Market and Customs Union

Since 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom left the EU Single Market and Customs Union.

As a result, the United Kingdom will no longer benefit from the principle of free movement of goods in the EU Single Market.

Even with the new EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement in place, manufacturers will face new trade barriers.

 

Although we have done our utmost to ensure that this information is correct and up-to-date, it does not seek to give legal advice or to be an exhaustive reproduction of the law. We strongly recommend readers to refer to the legal acts, which always prevail over the information that we are able to offer.

The UBAtc is in close contact with its UK colleagues to ensure that the UBAtc is able to help manufacturers continuing to place products on the EU and UK market.

 

More on the UK leaving the EU Single market and Customs Union

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, goods lawfully placed on the EU market before the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) can continue to circulate until they reach their end user, whether they are in the UK or the EU, provided that these products:

  • are covered by a harmonised European standard, which is the same as a UK designated standard (see below)
  • are affixed with CE marking
  • are accompanied by a manufacturer’s declaration of performance
  • have been assessed by an EU-recognised notified body, in cases where third party assessment is required.

In the United Kingdom, the Construction Products (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 apply. The UK regulations strongly resemble Regulation (EU) 305/2011 (CPR), but apply for the UK internal market.

Consult the Construction Products (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020

For the UK, all existing harmonised European standards have become UK ‘designated standards’. This will mean that immediately after the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) harmonised European standards and UK designated standards will be identical. If regulatory requirements change, differences will appear in standards. As far as we have been able to check, these standards correspond with the most recent list of EU harmonised standards.

Consult the list of UK designated standards, published on 18 December 2020

For construction product manufacturers, it is important to be able to predict what will happen with product standards. Will the UK start developing its own standards or will the UK continue to use European standards and for how long. The EU-UK Trade deal does not provide this kind of detail, so this is something that will be addressed later.

 

BSI’s membership of CEN

BSI will continue to be a member of CEN until the end of 2021. However, from 1 July 2020, BSI has become a ‘non-EEA member’ of CEN. This affects a few specific voting situations. In the types of vote listed in subclause 6.1.4 of CEN/CENELEC internal regulations part 2 (e.g. new or amended European standards), weighted voting is applied. In the first stage, votes from all members are counted and the proposal is adopted if the weighted voting criteria are met. There are no changes related to BSI in this stage; BSI’s weighting remains the same. However, if the proposal is not adopted in the first stage the votes of only the EEA countries are counted separately. In this situation, BSI’s vote would not be counted.

Therefore, if the proposal passes stage 1, all members are obliged to implement it, including BSI. If the proposal fails stage 1 but passes stage 2, all EEA members are obliged to implement it, along with any non-EEA members that voted positively. This means that if BSI voted negatively, it would not be obliged to implement the decision. If BSI voted positively, it would be obliged to implement the decision. If the proposal fails stage 2, there is no further action.

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