The UK Government has recently confirmed additional measures to support the transition from CE to UKCA marking.
The post-Brexit requirement for products being placed on the GB market to move from EU CE conformity assessment and marking to the new UKCA product safety regime has been posing challenges to many businesses – ranging from manufacturers working to meet the new conformity assessment and marking requirements ahead of the current 31 December 2022 deadline, to UK purchasers of products from EU suppliers seeking to understand if they are caught by new importer obligations now we are no longer part of the EU single market. While undoubtedly welcome, the new measures will not be a quick cure to all UKCA headaches.
The new measures announced by the Government supplement existing post-Brexit grace periods, with the aim of providing additional support to businesses navigating the transition. The key measures announced are:
- Reducing the need for re-testing: Conformity assessment activities undertaken by EU assessment bodies before the end of 2022 will be able to be used as a basis for UKCA marking certification going forward. If the product has not been placed on the market by the time the EU certificate has expired or by 31 December 2027 (whichever is earlier), it will need to undergo conformity assessment with a UK approved body.
- Extending labelling measures: The current ability to include a UKCA mark on a label or accompanying document rather than affixing it to the product itself will be extended from 31 December 2023 to 31 December 2025.
- Confirming the position on existing imported stock: The Government has confirmed that CE marked products which are fully manufactured and imported in the UK under contract before 1 January 2023 will be viewed as having been placed on the GB market before the end of 2022 so do not require UKCA re-testing and re-marking.
- Confirming the position on spare parts: The Government has confirmed that it will continue to accept spares onto the GB market to repair, replace and maintain products to the same conformity requirements in place at the time the original product was placed on the GB market. This means that if a CE marked product was placed on the GB market then it can continue to be repaired throughout its lifetime with CE marked spares.
The Government intends to bring forward legislation in the autumn to introduce measures 1 and 2. Measures 3 and 4 are merely clarification of the Government’s interpretation of the existing legal position so do not require further implementing legislation.
We anticipate that the new measures will ease some of the UKCA transition burden on business. However, it should be noted that certain products – including construction products, medical devices, marine equipment and transportable pressure equipment – are not covered by the announcements (further announcements may come in due course). More fundamentally, we know many had been hoping for a blanket extension of the ability to continue using CE marking for a period beyond 31 December 2022. This has not been forthcoming so it will still in most cases be necessary for products being placed on the GB market from 1 January 2023 to be UKCA marked.
We are currently helping many clients as they navigate these issues. Please get in touch if you would like any support.
Changes will make it simpler for businesses to apply new product conformity markings for most products placed on the market in England, Scotland and Wales.