Businesses will be given an additional 2 years to apply new product safety marking, giving thousands of businesses the freedom to focus on growth, Business Secretary Grant Shapps had announced on Monday 14 November. The government will continue to recognize the CE marking for 2 years, therefore allowing businesses until 31 December 2024 to prepare for the UKCA marking. Businesses can also use the UKCA marking, giving them flexibility to choose which marking to apply.
The UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking has been introduced as part of the UK’s own robust regulatory framework. It shows that products comply with our product safety regulations which are designed to protect consumers. However, given the difficult economic conditions created by post-pandemic shifts in demand and supply, alongside Putin’s war in Ukraine and the associated high energy prices, the government does not want to burden business with the requirement to meet the original (31 December 2022) deadline.
Business Secretary Grant Shapps said:
The government is determined to remove barriers to businesses so they can get on with their top priorities, like providing quality customer service, enabling growth and supporting their staff. This move will give businesses the breathing space and flexibility they need at this crucial time and ensure that our future system for product safety marking is fit for purpose, providing the highest standard for consumers without harming businesses.
To support manufacturers, the government is also reviewing the wider product safety framework, ensuring we minimize the burdens on business while keeping our system up to date with new innovative methods such as e-labelling. As part of this, the government will make it easier than ever for businesses to apply product markings.
This package will give thousands of businesses, including electronics and lift manufacturers, additional time to focus on delivering growth and creating jobs, while giving them flexibility in how they meet their legal obligations. There will be different rules for medical devices, construction products, cableways, transportable pressure equipment, unmanned aircraft systems, rail products, and marine equipment. Government departments responsible for these sectors are making sector specific arrangements.
The UKCA marking covers most goods which previously required the CE marking, known as ‘new approach’ goods, in addition to aerosols that previously required the ‘reverse epsilon’ marking. Whilst the UKCA marking can be used now this extension means businesses can choose to use the CE marking until 31 December 2024. This sits alongside measures to reduce the costs of retesting products and labelling.
To reduce labelling costs, the authority will allow businesses to affix the UKCA marking and include importer information for products from EEA countries on an accompanying document or label until 31 December 2027. The Government will also allow conformity assessment activities for CE marking undertaken by 31 December 2024 to be used by manufacturers as the basis for the UKCA marking, until 31 December 2027.
To extend the deadline, the government has laid secondary legislation before Parliament which, subject to parliamentary approval, will implement these measures. Businesses have been able to use the UKCA mark since 1 January 2021 to demonstrate their conformity with product standards in England, Scotland and Wales. Under the terms of the Protocol, Northern Ireland will continue to recognize the CE marking for goods placed on the market in Northern Ireland. They will need to use the UKNI marking if they use a UK Conformity Assessment Body to test their products.
The government has published the UK Market Conformity Assessment Bodies database which businesses can use to identify the appropriate body to certify their products.