Based on the prospect of leaving the single market or a 'no deal' Brexit, in the interim the CE mark will still be valid in the UK. The CE mark will obviously be still expected within the EU, however in the UK the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark will be phased in over a period of time that is currently undefined.
What does the UKCA mark mean?
It is the manufacturer’s statement that the product conforms to UK legislation and is placed on the product by the manufacturer or authorised representative. This is in essence the same principle as that of the CE mark, but for the UK market.
What are the differences between UKCA and CE marking?
Many of the differences between the two systems are to reflect that UKCA only applies to the UK and only requires information in English. This simplifies aspects such as where the technical information must be kept and which language applies.
Other differences relate to the separation of UK conformity assessment bodies from the EU Notified Body System, described below.
What aspects are not changing?
As the UK leaves the single market, the scope, essential requirements, standards and conformity assessment procedures will be the same. If your product is sold in both the EU and the UK, the technical file to show that it meets these requirements will also be the same.
What is the specific UK legislation that needs to be followed?
The UK government has issued a draft of The Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. They amend most of the UK CE marking regulations for the UKCA mark. Where CE marking directives apply, the amendments are limited to replacing the CE mark with the UKCA mark, limiting applicability to products for the UK, changing references to Notified Bodies to UK Conformity Assessment Bodies, and language references to English. Where the CE mark is for an EU regulation rather than a directive, more substantial amendments have been necessary similar to the regulations that implement the directives.
The amendments are at the draft stage and will only be issued when the UK leaves the single market.
Are standards changing?
BSI emphatically maintains its commitment to the EN and international standards systems and ‘harmonised standards’ remain best practice for both CE and UKCA marking. The UKCA regulations call them ‘designated standards’ and for the time being harmonised and designated standards lists will be the same. BSI is unlikely to withdraw EN standards but the UK designated list is likely to differ slightly as UK authorities such as HSE will bring their influence to bear on standards they disapprove of.
What needs immediate action?
The only aspect that has an immediate effect on manufacturers in a no-deal Brexit is the certification of products by UK Notified Bodies. UK Notified Body accreditation will be immediately withdrawn, their CE marking will no longer be valid and they will not be able to be placed on the market in the EU27. Their certificates will be valid for UKCA marking of products for the UK.
What should I do with UK Notified Body certificates?
Many UK Notified Bodies are transferring these certificates to EU-established Notified Bodies and this usually requires product markings and declarations to be changed. If your product requires Notified Body certification, it is worth checking this with your Notified Body and the gov.uk website which has more detail on UK bodies.
Will the CE mark remain valid for products placed on the UK market?
The CE mark will remain valid for most products placed on the UK market for a limited period, which is currently of unknown length. Some exceptions are Medical Devices and Construction Products and information has been published on the gov.uk website for these.
Can I put both CE and UKCA marks on my product?
Yes, it is already common to see numerous conformity marks on international products alongside the CE mark. We would recommend leaving enough space on the product label for the UKCA mark.