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Before Brexit day, most non-harmonised construction products circulate on the EU market under the mutual recognition principle. This principle prevents EU countries from prohibiting the sale of products that have already been legally sold in another EU country, even where countries have different national requirements covering the same products. The only exception to this principle is where an EU country has restrictions based on public safety, public policy or public morality.

You can read the government’s information on “Trading under the mutual recognition principle if there’s no Brexit deal”, here.

However in the event of the UK leaving the EU, the UK will no longer fall within the scope of the mutual recognition principle because we have become a ‘third country’. UK companies exporting non-harmonised products will need to consider the national requirements of the first EU country they export to. They will not need to consider the national requirements of any EU countries the products travel through before reaching their intended market.

UK companies which have already exported non-harmonised products to an EU country by meeting the relevant national requirements will still be able to make use of the mutual recognition principle and market their products in other EU countries.

UK companies importing non-harmonised products into the UK will need to ensure they meet UK national requirements, even if their products were previously lawfully marketed in another EU country. Non-UK companies exporting non-harmonised products to the UK will need to ensure that the products meet UK national requirements, regardless of whether they were previously lawfully marketed in another EU country or in the UK.

For further information about national regulations for non-harmonised products for different EU countries is available from the country’s Product Contact Point. A list of these national product contact points is available here.

With regards to cross-border trade between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, the Irish government has indicated that they would need to discuss arrangements with the European Commission and other EU countries in the event of a no deal Brexit. In this instance the UK government is ready to engage in these talks.