The new UK regime, known as ‘UK Conformity Assessment’ (UKCA), for products placed on the market in England, Wales and/or Scotland after Brexit, replaces the EU regime that applied when the UK was a member state. The change particularly affects businesses making electronic products, mobile phones, machinery, outdoor equipment, PPE and pyrotechnics.
The new regime requires that products placed on the British market must be assessed by a UK Approved Body rather than an EU one, and that the EU’s CE mark on products indicating it has been through the EU’s conformity assessment regime be replaced by a UKCA mark indicating the product has passed the UK conformity assessment. The new rules also require importers to have a UK establishment if they want to supply a product on the British market commercially.
The transition period for complying has already been extended, due to a lack of capacity among UK Conformity Assessment Bodies and lack of business readiness.
A further two-year extension has now been announced, so that businesses will have until 31 December 2024 to apply the UKCA marking to their products – although they can comply earlier if they wish. The reasons given for this extension are the pandemic, Ukraine and energy prices.
The specific transitional rules for products placed on the market in GB from the European Economic Area (and in some cases Switzerland), including the rule that labelling can appear on documents accompanying such products rather than having to appear on the products themselves, which were originally to apply until 31 December 2025, have also been extended for two years, until 31 December 2027.
A further transitional rule has also been extended. In order to stop products partially processed under the EU regime from having to be retested and recertified from scratch under the UK regime, this rule says that steps taken to achieve conformity assessment for such a product under the EU regime before a specified date will (provided the product has not yet been placed on the British market) be treated as having been taken under the UK conformity assessment procedures for the purposes of any application for UKCA marking. The specified date was originally 31 December 2022, but this has now been extended to 31 December 2024. Generally, note that this only applies for as long as any certificate issued in respect of those products is valid, or until 31 December 2027, whichever is sooner.
- Businesses transitioning from EU labelling rules to UK post-Brexit labelling rules before their products can lawfully be placed on the market in England, Wales or Scotland should review their transition plan for opportunities to reduce costs and complexity using the latest changes.
This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.
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