CECE and the EU-UK trade

EU-UK trade in construction equipment

Trade in construction equipment between the UK and EU countries has been increasing in recent years, and accounts for a significant share of UK market trade in equipment. UK exports of equipment to EU countries in 2019 reached € 1,8 billion. This represented a 4% increase on 2018 levels and resulted in EU countries accounting for 46% of total UK exports of construction equipment. UK manufacturers of equipment traditionally export more than half of their annual production. This includes some major multinational OEMs, who have significant manufacturing facilities located in the UK for supplying the EU market.

2019 also saw a significant increase in UK imports of construction equipment. Imports from EU countries reached € 1,2 billion in 2019, an increase of 12% on 2018 levels, and accounted for 64% of total UK imports of construction


On 31st January 2020, the United Kingdom (UK) ended its membership with the European Union (EU). Since then an 11-month transition period has begun during which most of the previous arrangements will remain in place until December 31 st 2020. As of January 1 st, 2021, the EU and the UK will enter a new phase in their relationship based on a new political and economic partnership. Starting in March 2020, the EU and the UK have been negotiating to achieve that new partnership, by coming to a mutually beneficial agreement that enhances their common interests and objectives.

Recommendations for the future EU-UK partnership

In the framework of the current negotiations, CECE strongly urges parties to reach a comprehensive Free-Trade Agreement. This FTA must include provisions that prevent divergences and enables alignment of, inter alia, regulations and standards, to the greatest extent possible. This would allow both parties to keep a similar pace with the respective regulatory frameworks concerning industrial goods.

CECE calls for an FTA that provides the best conditions for market access given the highly interconnected supply chains, the longstanding economic integration and the geographic proximity between the EU and the UK.

CECE urges negotiators to keep the EU-UK future economic relationship as close as possible, whilst preserving the integrity of the EU Single Market and level playing field. This is particularly important when it comes to market surveillance of products traded between the EU and the UK, and includes as well the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

In light of the enormous disruptions brought by the COVID-19 outbreak in the political and business communities of the EU and of the UK, CECE urges both parties to agree on an extension of the transition period. This is urgently needed to make sure that negotiators have enough time and occasions to talk and for the ratification processes to take place. It will also be fundamental for the business community to get familiar with the content of the deal and make the necessary adjustments, if appropriate. Failure to reach a profitable deal within the strict timeframe would mean falling back to a WTO setup, which would have tremendous consequences for businesses and finally for citizens on both sides of the Channel.

Read the full Position Paper with the CECE recommendations.