Panic at the ports! Brexit is currently disrupting trade in and out of the country and sadly, like many others, we are feeling the effects of an unclear 2021.

Until further notice, Forjj will be unable to sell juliet balconies to the EU. Northern Ireland remains unaffected so long as it is clear Northern Ireland is the final destination. For this reason we will only be shipping to Northern Ireland construction sites and residential addresses for the foreseeable future. If you are a yard/warehouse looking to bulk order our products please contact us directly before placing any orders, as this may flag as an issue on shipping.

What does Brexit mean for Forjj?

The main issue Brexit is causing us is the changes to our safety CE mark. We are audited and approved by a UK-based body to prove we are compliant with the European CE mark. This will now change to a UKCA mark, which means our products will be approved for sale in the UK, but we will lose our CE mark status in the EU. The standard that we make products will not change (or anything at all for that matter), as we go above and beyond for our products already. It is a mere formality which we hoped a trade deal may have included as nothing was changing in this respect, but this as yet does not seem to be the case. It would seem strange for the UK to want their own trade rights in order to reduce safety requirements, so we imagined the UK would look to adopt the CE mark and reduce the disruption, but here we are.

Our CE mark status is therefore in progress. We will now need to be audited by both a UK-based body and an EU-based body to prove our compliance with the high safety standards our products must achieve.

The European CE Mark

For those who don’t know, a ‘CE mark’ states a product has been assessed before it enters the market. This is particularly important for products related to safety! For example, our juliet balconies must not fail, as someone could fall from a height through a window opening. Therefore our welds are tested to strict tolerances and materials are suitably sourced and check to ensure safety for all our customers. Any product such as a balcony that cannot prove this should be considered a risk (e.g. if you already own a balcony but are unsure of its manufacture), and to sell these goods is in fact illegal, so we advise potential customers to do their research as not all balconies are made equal!

It should be made clear that the sale of our railings and gates is less affected, as these are not a safety product and do not require CE certification (though we do make them with the same level of detail and care as standard). This being said, we would still have more paperwork to comply with for the shipping of goods through the UK/EU borders, which will ultimately mean price increases for EU customers. This is sadly out of our control until things normalise and the governments from both sides are able to provide more support once the dust has settled.

Please look to our blog or social media accounts for any changes to Forjj related export/CE news if you are affected by this, or contact us directly for more information.