Brexit agreement reached, transition period over – Here’s what product manufacturers should know

Well, we are at the beginning of yet another year - 2021. The year that Brexit finally becomes “official.” But what does this mean for you and your business? What was the final agreement reached between the European Union and the United Kingdom on trading? How do you ensure that your products are “UK ready?” The below excerpt explains the key takeaways from these topics to ensure that you and your business are following the correct protocol to get your products into the UK market successfully.
Brexit Is Official, Now What?

Brexit transition period – what preparations were made and what happens now? 
The Brexit transition period was in place up until 31 December 2020. This allowed businesses and citizens time to prepare for the United Kingdom leaving the European Union single market and customs union. As of January 2021, the official ‘leaving’ of the UK from the EU occurred. There are, however, still some grace periods for various products entering or exiting the United Kingdom, which you can find more information on in our UKCA Guide.

Trade and Cooperation Agreement – what happened and what was agreed? 
The Trade and Cooperation agreement negotiated between the EU and UK entered into force provisionally on 1 January 2021. Among other things, the agreement has created a broad economic partnership between the UK and the EU. The agreement reached between all 27 member states has enabled the UK and EU to remain close partners and friends over the coming years. In essence, the key to this agreement is the basis of a free trade agreement which means no tariffs or quotas and thus averts major trade barriers.

What is official for manufacturers placing goods on the UK market from 1 January 2021?
Over December last year, we created a thorough UKCA guide for product manufacturers importing products to the United Kingdom. Since the implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, these are the official key takeaways for product manufacturers:

  • If you placed goods on the UK market or an EU/EEA state before 1 January 2021, nothing needs to be done for these individual goods
  • Any goods placed on the GB market after 1 January 2021 should adhere to the following guidance:
  1. Check the rules that apply to your product, namely the protocol for UKCA Marking
  2. Make sure your goods meet UK rules. This will need to be done even if they were previously sold in an EU country. You can check the UK product safety rules on the gov.uk website or follow the steps in our UKCA guide.
  3. Special rules apply to medical devices and construction products. You should double-check these rules if you are distributing these products. 
  4. Check if you need to change your conformity assessment or marking. The UKCA marking is the conformity assessment marking for Great Britain. Any goods placed on the UK market after 1 January 2021 will need to bear the UKCA mark. 
  5. Goods that are lawfully CE marked will be accepted in the UK until 1 January 2022 for certain products only. You should check if this applies to your products. 
  6. Where mandatory third-party conformity assessment was required for CE marked goods, it is also required for UKCA marked goods. This conformity assessment must be carried out by a UK-recognised conformity assessment body in order to be marked with UKCA marking. You can read more about the Declaration of Conformity here. Information on this process is also outlined in our UKCA guide. 
  7. Appoint an authorised representative in the United Kingdom. This person must be based in the UK and not in the EU. AR services are mandatory for non-EU and non-UK businesses who plan to sell products in the European Union or United Kingdom in any capacity. 

You can read mroe about Authorised Representatives, UKCA and Brexit in the following articles:

5 Important Facts About Authorised Representatives

Here’s What Manufacturers Should Know About UKCA Marking

Brexit: Important Considerations for Medical Devices Exported to the UK from 1 January 2021

Brexit and Trading: Your Guide to CE, UKCA and UKNI Product Markings After the Brexit Transition Period

From CE to UKCA: What Happens to Construction Products After January 2021?

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  • Certification Simplified

At Certification Experts, it’s our mission to simplify your product certification process. We specialise in worldwide product certification, and will always strive to fulfill your needs. For more information, get in touch with us today. 

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