On Tuesday, 1st August 2023, the UK Government announced an indefinite extension to the use of CE marking for businesses. This supersedes the previous deadline of 31st December 2024.
The UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking was introduced from 1st January 2021, but since that date products bearing either the UKCA mark or the CE mark have been accepted onto the GB market. This was originally due to end at 11pm on 31st December 2022, after which time only the UKCA mark would be recognised. However, a previous UK Government announcement on 14th November 2022 , extended this by an additional 2 years, thus allowing CE marked products to be accepted on the GB market until 31st December 2024. This latest announcement extends this indefinitely, giving businesses the flexibility to choose whether to apply the CE or UKCA mark to demonstrate that their products comply with UK product safety regulations.
It should be noted that this indefinite extension currently only applies to the regulations owned by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT), which are listed in full here , but include simple pressure vessels, electromagnetic compatibility, equipment for potentially explosive atmospheres (ATEX), pressure equipment, machinery and low voltage electrical equipment. It should be noted that this latest announcement does not include construction products or transportable pressure equipment, as these regulations are owned by different UK Government departments.
UKCA New Measures (Easements)
On 20th June 2022, the UK Government announced that it intends to bring forward legislation on the following ‘easements’ to make it simpler for businesses to adjust to the changes required for applying UKCA marking. These new measures will apply up to 11pm on 31st December 2027.
Reducing recertification / retesting costs
Completed conformity assessment activities performed under EU requirements can be used by manufacturers to declare compliance with UKCA requirements. This includes existing testing, certification, and contractual arrangements undertaken by non-UK Conformity Assessment Bodies for CE certification.
This will allow manufacturers to apply the UKCA mark without the need for any UK-recognised Conformity Assessment Body involvement and continue to place their goods on the market, on the basis of their existing CE certification for the lifetime of the certificate issued.
Products that are repaired, refurbished or exchanged without changing their original performance, purpose, or type, are not considered ‘new’ and therefore do not need to be recertified and remarked. This includes products temporarily exported for repair, as they are not being placed on the GB market for the first time when re-imported.
If the product has been subject to important changes (i.e. substantially changing its original performance, purpose, or type), it will be considered as a ‘new’ product. Therefore, the modified product must comply with GB regulatory requirements, including the requirement for CE or UKCA marking.
To make it easier for businesses to continue to supply goods to the GB market, current labelling easements will be extended to allow important information, and other UKCA markings, to be affixed to products using a label or an accompanying document.
Existing imported CE-marked stock
CE-marked products, which have been imported into GB under contract, are considered to be ‘placed on the GB market’. Therefore, these products do not need to undergo any re-testing, re-certification or re-labelling to meet UKCA requirements.
Products imported for further manufacture
Only fully manufactured products can be considered ‘placed on the market’. When products are imported for further manufacture or processing, they are not fully manufactured, and therefore, are not considered to be ‘placed on the GB market’. Under these circumstances, the GB manufacturer of the finished product has the sole and ultimate responsibility for ensuring it is UKCA compliant.
How does this apply to pressure equipment?
Three codes of practice (COPs) have been developed by the UK Approved Bodies Forum with input from the UK Competent Authority and the UK Accreditation Service. The COPs represent best practice and provide a considered technical approach to meeting the requirements of the UK Pressure Equipment Safety Regulations – 2016, as amended, as they apply to Great Britain.
The COPs cover requirements for the approval of materials, material manufacturers, joining personnel and non-destructive testing personnel. The COPs are free to download.
The COPs were developed through a working group with representation from key stakeholders gathered from across the pressure equipment manufacturing industries.
How does this apply to the Construction Products Regulations (CPR)?
The UK Government Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government announced on 9th December 2022 that the CE Mark will continue to be recognised for compliance with the Construction Products Regulations (CPR) until 30th June 2025.
What is the UKCA mark?
Following the UK’s departure from the EU, the UKCA (UK Conformity Assessment) mark is the new marking required on certain products placed on the GB market (i.e. in England, Wales and Scotland – this excludes Northern Ireland, which has its own rules).
The UKCA marking is used to confirm products meet current legislation requirements, which are designed to protect consumers. The marking will be applied to most products that previously required the CE mark, to allow those products to be placed on the GB market.
Products being placed on the EU market still need CE marking, as the UKCA mark is not recognised by the EU market.
The UKCA marking can be used from 1st January 2021.
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