UKCA has been introduced as a consequence of Britain's disengagement from the European Economic Area (EEA), commonly referred to as Brexit. The initials CE stand for the French Conformité Européenne, or "European Conformity", and indicate that any product carrying this Mark conforms with all applicable EU Directives. The former requirements for CE Marking of manufactured products have now been changed to a similar, but UK-only product certification system known as UKCA.
What Is UKCA Marking?
Any product sold in the UK which formerly carried a CE Mark will now carry a UKCA Mark. This guarantees to the consumer that all relevant health and safety regulations, environmental legislation and applicable standards for the product have been met by the manufacturer and that it's safe and legal to use. It covers much the same range of products that were previously Marked with the CE Mark.
The term "UKCA" stands for "UK Conformity Assessed" and is the new product certification system that must now be used for manufactured products sold in England, Wales and Scotland. Because of the ongoing economic negotiations surrounding the Northern Ireland Protocol, the UKCA Mark may not be used on its own for Marking of products for sale there. The new Mark may be used as well as the existing Marking, but at the moment products for Northern Ireland must continue to carry the CE Mark.
Any products designated for sale in Markets outside Great Britain must also continue to carry this Mark, if they fall within the scope of the EU Directives. Not all products follow the same directives but in general the rules for UKCA Marking are much the same as those for the existing CE Mark.
What is Happening to CE Marking?
CE Marking will continue to be acceptable in Great Britain until the end of 2022, so that manufacturers have sufficient time to adapt to the new system. We must use the UKCA Marking from 1st January 2023, but where the rules for the UK and EU stay the same, the CE Marking will still be valid until then. If the EU decides to alter its rules for CE Marking, and we label our products with the CE Mark based on those new rules, this will disqualify GEZE from selling them in the UK. This provision applies even before the validity of CE Marking expires on 31st December 2022.
Products that carry a CE Mark haven't necessarily been manufactured in the EEA. The Mark confirms only that they've been assessed by an authorised body for conformity with EU directives. If any manufactured product has been passed by such a body it means that it can then legally be put on the EU Market. The CE Mark shows that the product is in compliance with all necessary legal requirements, such as health and safety directives. The UKCA Mark will carry similar meaning in a more limited economic field.
When does the UKCA Mark come into force
The new regulations came into effect on Brexit day, the last day of 2020. This means in reality that the UKCA regulations were enforceable from 1st January 2021, in accordance with the original Statutory Instruments (SI) drawn up for the EU Exit. For most products, the applicable regulations are specified in SI 2019:696, with relevant amendments.
GEZE are working closely with notified bodies in the UK to ensure all of our applicable products are certificated in line with UKCA marking requirements and in accordance with the UK Governments stipulated date.