CE / UKCA Marking Rules are Changing – Here’s what you need to know
The UK Government has announced further changes to the rules concerning CE marked goods placed on the market in Great Britain. The Compliance People consultant Jonathan Teale looks at this important change.
The UK Government has announced further changes to the rules concerning CE marked goods placed on the market in Great Britain. Currently, the law says that goods which require a conformity mark can be either CE marked or UK CA marked (or both) when placed on the market in Great Britain, but from 1st January 2022 goods placed on the market in Great Britain for the first time must be UK CA marked.
However, the UK Government and HSE websites now indicate that CE marked goods can continue to be placed on the market until 31 December 2022 i.e. an extension of 1 year.
Jonathan Teale looks at this important change.
Prior to 1st January 2021, goods placed on the market anywhere in the UK followed the same rules as goods placed on the market across the EU. The requirement to CE mark many goods provides evidence that those goods have been assessed to and comply with uniform standards.
Since the 1st January 2021, a new UK CA mark has been introduced in Great Britain. Goods placed on the market in Great Britain for the first time after 1st January 2021 can be UK CA marked instead of (or as well as) CE marked. (CE marked goods which had already been placed on the market can continue to circulate – no change is required).
The new UK CA mark performs the same function as the CE mark.
In order to help businesses with the change required, a transition period was provided until 31 December 2021. During that period, any person placing goods on the market in Great Britain for the first time has a choice – they can either UK CA mark the goods, or CE mark them (or both). This is because for the time being, the standards which goods must comply with to be UK CA marked are exactly the same as for CE marking. Therefore, so long as the standards remain the same during the transition period, either mark can be used. (N.B. UK CA marked goods will not be accepted on the market in the EU or Northern Ireland – these transition arrangements only apply in Great Britain). Should any of the relevant standards diverge during the transition period, new goods affected by those standards would thereafter need to be UK CA marked (CE marked goods already placed on the market can continue to circulate – they will not need to be retrospectively UK CA marked). As the law currently stands, goods first placed on the market in Great Britain after the 1st January 2022 will need to be UK CA marked (they can also be CE marked, but they must be UK CA marked).
However, we now note that the UK Government and HSE websites state that the transition period for use of CE marking has been extended to 31st December 2022. That means that businesses can continue to place CE marked goods on the market in Great Britain until that date. The UK CA mark will not become mandatory for new goods until 1st January 2023 (unless the compliance standards diverge in the meantime, in which case the UK CA mark would become mandatory after that point for any goods for which the UK standard has diverged).
At the time of going to press, the regulations have not yet been amended to reflect this change, but we anticipate we will see amendments issued in the near future to reflect this. Until we see those amendment regulations, the relevant entries in LUS will continue to reflect the legal position, namely that CE marking can only be used until 31st December 2021.
Note that these changes apply in Great Britain only. They do not affect Northern Ireland, where goods should continue to be CE (or CE + UK(NI)) marked.
- In Great Britain, the UK CA mark will replace the CE mark.
- The UK CA mark was introduced on 1st January 2021. Businesses placing goods on the GB market for the first time after that date can already use the UK CA mark instead of the CE mark, but use of the UK CA mark is not yet mandatory. Therefore, until 31st December 2021, businesses can continue to place goods on the GB market using either the CE mark, or the UK CA mark (or both).
- The law currently says that goods first placed on the GB market after 1st January 2022 must be UK CA marked.
- However, UK Government and HSE websites now show that this date has been extended to 1st January 2023. Until that date, either the UK CA or the CE mark (or both) can be used.
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