Understanding the UKCA Mark and the Future of CE Marking
For manufacturers that currently use CE marking, products destined for the UK market now need additional conformity assessment documentation and product marking.
Knowing what product types are covered, when conformity still applies, and how to declare for UKCA marking can be difficult. Updated UK Government information ("Using the UKCA marking") has been released to offer guidance on the new processes. In this article, we'll answer some of your questions about what products might be affected, who will need additional conformity assessment, and how to stay legal in the EU and the UK using both the UKCA and CE Mark.
What is the UKCA mark?
The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is the new UK product marking for certain goods placed on the UK market. New UK legislation has amended 38 product safety and metrology measures to implement in UK legislation previously covered requirements by CE marking. Since this instrument does not cover some products, the UK government has provided separate guidance for construction products and medical devices.
The UKCA mark's objective is to ensure that there is no reduction in product safety, accuracy, or consumer protections due to Brexit and to ensure that the effectiveness of the current legislative framework continues. (The requirements for product safety and metrology legislation are maintained by retaining the appropriate EU obligations in UK law.)
Most products currently covered by the CE marking now fall within the scope of the new UKCA mark (this includes products that fall within the EMC, Low Voltage Directive (LVD), Radio Equipment Directive, Machinery, and ATEX directives). For further details, please review the amending legislation, which contains detailed information on each UK regulation that is linked to a CE marking directive.
When will the UKCA mark replace the CE mark in the UK market?
From January 1, 2022, most goods currently subject to CE marking will need to be certified with the UKCA mark. Until then, the CE mark will be accepted in the United Kingdom for specific products.
How is the UKCA mark different from the CE mark?
The UKCA marking process follows virtually the same rules and regulations as CE marking. Most manufacturers will still be able to self-declare their products based on test results and other technical documentation, but in specific cases, they will need to obtain a type-examination certificate from a third party. As for CE marking, the use of third-party certification is dictated by the appropriate UK regulation (currently based on the equivalent CE directive).
However, it is important to note that the UKCA mark will hold no validity in the EU – it is a UK-only mark. Moving forward, any product that requires a CE mark to be sold in Europe will maintain that requirement; the UKCA mark does not provide conformity in any of the EU-27 countries (i.e., members of the European Union post-Brexit). Hence dual marking of many products will be required.
Can I use the conformity documents from CE marking towards a UKCA mark?
Because current UK regulations are based on existing CE directives, manufacturer and third-party conformity assessment documents used in the CE marking process can be presented as proof of conformity for a UKCA mark in most cases.
An exception is for products where third-party assessments for CE marking were certified by a UK Notified Body. If that certification has not been transferred to an EU-27 Notified Body prior to Brexit (e.g., for ATEX, RED, or EMC), the UKCA marking process (and the necessary UK Type Examination Certificate) must be initiated through the UK Approved Body after Brexit.
Holders of all Element UK Notified Body certificates were given the option to have their certificates transferred to another Element Notified Body (within or recognized by the EU-27). Element in the UK has become a UK Approved Body under the UKCA radio equipment, EMC, and ATEX regulations.
Do you need more help?
Element is here to answer your questions and help you with both UKCA and CE marking. For more information or to speak with one of our experts, contact us today.
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Simon Barrowcliff, General Manager - Certification & Approvals at Element, delivers guidance on the UKCA Mark , reviewing the procedures for products in the ITE, Wireless, IoT, and medical device industries.
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