The CE mark is changing – what does this mean for businesses?

The effect of Brexit

Brexit and the fact that the UK is no longer part of the EU has meant many changes have taken place throughout the manufacturing industry over the last twelve months or so.

One significant change to the industry is the introduction of the UKCA mark. The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark has replaced the CE mark in Great Britain for most goods that are/were subject to the CE mark. If a product is to be sold in Great Britain, it will now need to have the UKCA mark. The change came into effect on 1st January 2021 when the UK left the EU, but to allow businesses a period of adjustment, the CE mark will still be accepted until 1st January 2022 and the new UKCA will also be accepted too. It is recommended though, that companies start the transition to the new UKCA as soon as possible to ensure that they are familiar with the new rules in plenty of time to meet the 2022 deadline.

In the meantime

The CE mark can still only currently be used in areas where the GB and EU rules remain the same. If they differ and/or the EU changes its rules, then the CE mark cannot be used to sell in Great Britain and the UKCA should be used with immediate effect.

If goods were fully manufactured and CE marked prior to January 2021, then these can still be sold in Great Britain. The UKCA marking is only recognised in Great Britain, so if goods are due to be exported for sale in the EU or Northern Ireland, they will still need the CE mark and will also need to continue to meet any other EU regulations. Both the CE and UKCA mark can be placed on the product as long as both are visible and the legislation for Great Britain and the EU are both independently met.

How should it be used?

It needs to be applied to the product itself or the packaging (the same as the CE mark). In some circumstances, it could be placed in the items manual or supporting documents, but this will depend on the regulations for that specific product.

Rules for using the UKCA image (source:www.gov.uk)

You must make sure that:

  • The UKCA marking is at least 5mm in height for the whole logo, not individual letters – unless a different minimum dimension is specified in the relevant legislation.
  • The UKCA marking is easily visible, legible (from 1 January 2023 it must be permanently attached)

In conclusion

There is a lot to do before the deadline so government advice is to act now and be prepared well in advance. The changing of the mark should not affect the manufacturing and ultimately sales of a product as long as the correct steps are taken before the deadline to ensure that everything conforms and that the new legislation is met.