German Flag

Update – Brexit and the CE marking

The Brexit transition period following the UK´s exit from the EU ended at the same time as the year 2020. The negotiated trade and cooperation agreement came into force on 01.01.2021 and will regulate the relationship between the EU and the UK in the future.

In addition to clarifications regarding environmental and energy issues, economic topics play a major role. Since 01.01.2021, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU single market and the EU customs union. However, the two parties have agreed on a comprehensive economic partnership. This is based on a free trade agreement and provides for neither tariffs nor quotas for trade. There are also no quantitative restrictions on imports. Any trade barriers that might arise have thus been averted. What cannot be avoided, however, are delays at the border due to the customs declarations that are now required. All products traded between the EU and the UK are now subject to certain controls. This should also be taken into account in future construction projects, for example. Such a change has not yet occurred, which is why certain processes will only level out over time. 

For the glass industry, the end of the transition period is also noticeable in terms of product labeling. The CE marking previously used for windows, for example, stands for EU-wide harmonized regulations and simplifies the European movement of goods. As of 01.01.2021, the UKCA marking (UKCA = United Kingdom Conformity Assessed) will now come into force instead of the CE marking for products that are placed on the market in Great Britain. After 31.12.2021, only products with UKCA marking will be accepted. Companies now have time to check whether their products meet the requirements of the UKCA labeling certificate and can take action if necessary. According to the current status, however, there is no change to the technical product requirements and the conformity assessment procedure.

The British overseas territory of Gibraltar was excluded from the trade and cooperation agreement and joined the Schengen area on 01.01.2021. There is also a special arrangement for Northern Ireland – it remains part of the EU single market for goods. This means that, as a rule, the CE marking can continue to be used. Certain products (such as medical or construction products) must also bear the UKNI marking. This is always relevant if a UK body is involved in carrying out the conformity assessment.