Following pressure from industry, the UK Government extended the deadline for moving to UKCA marking by one year to 2023. The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark replaces product safety labelling (CE) used in the UK while an EU member. In practice, the concession extends the deadline for using CE marking for that period.
The August announcement provides businesses with another year to transition to the new product safety marking in the UK. This applies to all goods where businesses were due to begin using the UKCA marking by the end of 2021. It allows businesses more time to meet their legal obligations given the continued impact of the pandemic and provide clarity and certainty.
The change means that from 1st January 2023 products must carry either the UKCA mark, or both UKCA and CE where the standards are identical. Moreover, from that date, Great Britain (GB) will not recognise the CE mark for ‘specified areas’. This mean it will not be acceptable to sell products in the UK bearing only the CE mark.
Compounding the problem of UKCA marking was the shortage of UK based testing or approved bodies as there is insufficient capacity in many sectors to handle new applications. It is further complicated that so many suppliers to the UK electrical market are from overseas.
According to Gambica, as most products will be for global sales, they will have both CE and UKCA marking. At present the regulations and related standards will be the same for both purposes. Declarations of conformity or performance can apply for both purposes provided they reference the relevant EU and UK regulations.
The UKCA mark may sometimes not be on the product itself but instead be on the label, on packaging or on an accompanying document. Such documents could include manuals, instructions, invoices or shipping documents.
This will apply to all products until the end of 2023 but for products where size, shape or other practical or economic reasons make it impractical to fix the mark to the product the UKCA marking may continue to be on the packaging or documentation.
Businesses must ensure they are ready to apply UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking by 1 January 2023, the final deadline.
The government says it continues to engage with manufacturers to ensure they understand what they need to do to prepare. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has run several webinars and engages through trade associations like Gambica.