As you will be aware, the UK is currently operating under transitional arrangements agreed to cover the period between its departure from the European Union on 31 January 2020 and the introduction of new trading arrangements on 1 January 2021.
There is still a great deal of uncertainty as to what these new trading arrangements will comprise. Knauf continues to plan for a number of different contingencies and you can be sure that we have processes in place to address a range of potential outcomes from the current negotiations.
At this stage, there are two broad issues related to the supply of our products to our UK and Irish customers.
There will be a new UK marking scheme – UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) – which will be used from 1 January 2021 for goods that are to be sold within Great Britain. The UKCA marking alone cannot be used for goods placed on the Northern Ireland market, which requires CE marking or UK[NI] marking.
Construction products which are affixed with the CE mark may still be placed on the UK market until 1 January 2022. After this time, such products will require the UKCA mark and will need to comply with the relevant UK rules.
All Knauf products, where applicable, are affixed with the CE marking and will continue to be so throughout 2021, enabling uninterrupted sales in the UK and ROI markets. Knauf UK will plan for the introduction of both UKCA and CE marking beyond that period to allow for sales in both markets of the UK and EU.
All imports into the UK will have to be recorded and declared from January 2021. However, full border controls will not be in operation on imports until July 2021, which should reduce the possibility of delays in delivery of raw materials in the short term.
Goods leaving the UK for EU member states (including the ROI) may be subject to export duty from 1 January 2021. Exports will also be subject to border controls which may cause delays on outbound routes. This may, in turn, produce a knock-on effect for hauliers, causing delay and, potentially, localised disruption around major ports, particularly in SE England.
As the trade negotiations continue, we are closely monitoring developments and will update you further as the final outcomes emerge.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and look forward to working with you throughout this transitional period.
Knauf UK & Ireland