The UKCA Marking Change 2022
What is UKCA Marking?
For those looking to branch out to the UK market, UKCA stands for UK Conformity Assessed. As of 1st January 2022, the UK has introduced a ‘new product marking system that is used for all goods being placed onto the market in Great Britain’.
It is currently standard practice to affix a CE mark to electronic equipment, machinery, medical devices, toys and personal protective equipment, as a sign of compliance with EU legislation. However, in Post-Brexit Britain, the test and mark for compliance will be altered to reflect its own legislation.
The main stages of CE and UKCA marking:
- identify all relevant standards and directives necessary
- Substantiate the product’s specific needs and requirements
- Establish whether an independent conformity assessment would be necessary
- Product testing
- Compose the necessary technical documentation
- Add the respective marking to your product
- It’s not the mark itself that is evidence of compliance – it is the supporting technical documentation.
- The Declaration of Conformity on its own is not evidence of compliance, but is a legal claim on your behalf, that products comply with applicable standards and directives.
- UKCA and CE marking is mandatory for those products it applies to and does not have a bearing on the quality of the products.
What’s the difference between CE Marking and the new UKCA?
UKCA – UK Conformity Assessment
CE – Conformité Européenne (European Conformity)
Although the UKCA has been introduced, the UK will allow CE marking to be used until 31 December 2024 to allow for ease in transition and for businesses to adjust accordingly. Beyond this point, it will be a requirement for all products to assume the new certification. In essence, now that the UK is no longer part of the EU it now has its own marking system to determine the conformity of products against its own legislation.
According to the UK Government, ‘the UKCA marking applies to most goods previously subject to the CE marking. It also applies to aerosol products that previously required the ‘reverse epsilon’ marking.’ As such it would be fair to infer that the difference between the CE and UKCA marking will be largely minimal and very nuanced.
It is important to note that whilst the UK is accepting CE marking until January 1 2025, this does not mean that EU countries will accept the UKCA marking.
‘The CE marking is only valid in Great Britain for areas where GB and EU rules remain the same. If the EU changes its rules and you CE mark your product on the basis of those new rules you will not be able to use the CE marking to sell in Great Britain, even before 31 December 2024.’ (GOV.UK )
When to use UKCA marking – Timeline
It will be necessary to implement the new UKCA marking before 1 January 2025 if the product in question is;
- Made for the market in Great Britain
- Covered by legislation which requires the UKCA marking
- In need of a mandatory third-party conformity assessment
- Conformity assessed by a UK conformity assessment body.
You are still able to sell existing stock, that was fully manufactured and CE marked, before 1 January 2021 up until 31 December 2024 when they will have to be placed on the market. In this case, the government will pass legislation enabling you to affix the UKCA marking to an accompanying document or label, until 31 December 2025.
Although it must be noted that this will not apply to;
- Rail products
- Marine equipment
- Medical devices
- Transportable pressure equipment
- Construction Products.
How to use UKCA Marking – What are the rules?
The main rules are focussed on the affixing of the marker:
The marker must be clearly visible on the product, product packaging or accompanying documentation and affixed only by the manufacturer or an authorised representative under the jurisdiction of the UK legislature. As such the manufacturer, or authorised representative, bears full responsibility for the conformity of the products. Therefore there is a legal onus on them to make sure the UKCA markings meaning is not able to be misconstrued by third parties, thus they must ensure clear and obvious placement.
Other additional markings can be placed upon the same product so long as they do not cause confusion with the UKCA marking, reduce the legibility of the UKCA marking, or if they fulfil a different function to the UKCA Marking.
The UKCA image rules:
Whilst it is possible for the UKCA marking to take on different forms in terms of colouring. It’s imperative that the image of the marking is clear and legible.
- You may reduce or enlarge the size of the marking but the proportions and distances of the lettering must remain the same.
- The UKCA marking must be at least 5mm in height unless another minimum dimension is specified in alternative legislation
The Manufacturer or authorised representative must keep the relevant documentation in order to prove conformity to the regulatory requirements. These must be kept for up to 10 years after the product is placed on the market. The information and records must include a UK Declaration of Conformity.
The UK declaration of conformity is largely similar to the EU Declaration of Conformity and should therefore include:
- The name and full business address of you or your authorised representative
- The product identification type, model or serial number
- The relevant legislation with which the product complies
- A statement, stating you take full responsibility for the product’s compliance
- Your name and signature with the date the declaration was issued
- The details of the approved body which carried out the conformity assessment procedure and any supplementary information (if applicable)
How Goodwille Can Help to Expand Your Business to the UK
Keeping up to date with the post-Brexit conformity changes and duties is essential when looking to expand into the UK market. Here at Goodwille, we are incredibly well-versed in advising start-ups on how best to navigate the UK business climate. This could be through setting up a subsidiary or registering a branch and offering advice and services to ensure that your business flourishes in the United Kingdom. For more information about how we can help you, get in touch with us today.