UKCA and UKNI marks (UK)

The European CE mark is being phased out in the UK. Various deadlines apply to the situation where no CE marked good may be imported into the UK market unless it has been re-marked as UKCA.

A special situation exists in Northern Ireland – the Ireland/Northern Ireland Protocol allows European CE marking to continue to be used in Northern Ireland. The alternative UK mark to be used in Northern Ireland is UKNI, not UKCA.

A vast number of CE marked goods are in regular use in the UK. All businesses and individuals operating in the UK must assess their future requirements for CE marked goods and take steps to ensure their timely delivery before deadlines kick in.

Please check with suppliers and BEIS (the government department) on the current availability of already imported CE marked goods, and the deadline for a particular CE marked good.

Not all local assessment processes are set up, and deadlines may change. Further information is likely – please pay close attention to Email Alerts and Blog posts in the autumn.

[Not all European goods use the CE mark, I posted earlier about consultation underway on the timings for the phaseout of European marked Transportable Pressure Equipment – TPE – European sourced TPE has a different European mark]

UK Product Safety and Metrology (UK Brexit)

Exit day is 31st October (this date is in a Statutory Instrument)

Today, the UK Office for Product Safety & Standards re-issued with updates the March Instructions on Product Safety and Metrology.

This September document – UK Product Safety and Metrology Guidance in a ‘no deal’ Brexit – is here.

The Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, as amended by the Product Safety, Metrology and Mutual Recognition Agreement (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019, amend local law and retained EU Law, from Exit day.

These Brexit laws are in the subscribers’ Brexit Law List and consolidation is well underway – in the Brexit Consolidated Law List (next upload – start of October).

(1) The Brexit Law alters those legal provisions in UK regulations and retained EU law that would not work effectively when the UK leaves the EU without changes. The Brexit Law objective is to create a functioning regulated UK market.

(2) The safety and other technical requirements are not specifically changed, but processes are changed.

(3) Products lawfully placed on the EU market before the UK leaves the EU can continue to circulate in the UK (for a temporary period, consultation will occur before this period ends, and a new Brexit Law is required for the temporary period to end).

(4) Lawfully CE marked products will continue to be accepted by the UK, intended to be for a time limited period (see above).

(5) Products being placed on the UK market for the first time after the UK leaves the EU must meet the same technical requirements as before – but labelling or notification requirements will change.

(6) A new UK Conformity Assessed marking (“UKCA”) may be used for products that will be placed on the UK market where conformity assessment has been carried out by a UK approved body (formerly a notified body). This is because after Exit day, the EU no longer recognises UK based Notified Bodies and so they will become UK Approved Bodies. The UKCA mark is not yet set up.

(7) Products intended to be exported to the EU that require an independent third-party conformity assessment – this assessment must be carried out by an EU based Notified Body and the products must be ‘CE’ marked (where required) once they have been successfully assessed. After Exit day, this cannot be carried out by a UK Approved Body.

(8) Where currently allowed, UK manufacturers can continue to self-declare that products meet EU rules and place these products on either the UK or EU markets. [please recheck this with the EU import country]

(9) The UK will continue to recognise EU Notified Body conformity assessments, for a time limited period, so manufacturers and importers will still be able to place goods on the UK market lawfully bearing the CE marking where they have been assessed by an EU Notified Body (where required).

(10) The UK will publish a list of references to designated standards that will have the same function as harmonised standards and give presumption of conformity to legal requirements. On Exit day, these designated standards will be the same as the harmonised standards.

(11) When the UK leaves the EU, the role and responsibilities of the manufacturer will be unchanged. However, some UK businesses which bring products into the UK from an EEA State and who were previously “distributors” from Exit day become “importers” acquiring new legal duties, including complying with an enhanced set of requirements to check product compliance as well as to keep documentation and ensure their address appears on the product.

(12) There is an 18-month transitional period for these “new” importers during which they can put their details on documentation accompanying the product, rather than on the product itself. The same will apply to imports from Switzerland for certain products, for the same 18- month period.

(13) Cosmetic products that have the information of the EU responsible person on the container and packaging will be allowed on the UK market for 2 years after the UK leaves the EU, after which the container and packaging will need to bear the name and address of the UK responsible person.

(14) The EU will not have a transitional period and so UK manufacturers exporting to the EU will need immediately after Exit day to have the address of the relevant EU responsible person on the goods they are exporting.

Please read the September document carefully, and also re-check with the EU import country.

CE Mark (Ireland Brexit)

Exit day is 12th April (this Friday) – Exit time is 12.00 CET midnight

On 13th April, the UK will be a third country and UK Notified Bodies will lose their status as EU Notified Bodies. These “Notified Bodies” assess the conformity of products before they can be placed on the EU market. Once approved by the Notified Body, the CE Mark can be affixed to them.

At present, there are 1,500 Notified Bodies (NBs) in the EU, 174 operating in the UK including 50 NBs for Construction.

9 NBs are in Ireland, 3 of which are the NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland).  The NSAI is a Notified Body for Construction Products, Medical Devices and Non-Automatic Weighing Scales.

Irish products which currently rely on a UK Notified Body for CE marking will no longer be able to be placed on the EU market.

Irish companies with products certified by UK Notified Bodies will also not be able to continue to export these to the UK, despite the fact that the UK government issued guidance earlier in the year stating that the CE Mark would continue to be recognised for an unspecified period of time until the mark is replaced by a proposed new UKCA mark.

This is because the UK bodies which issued those CE Marks will no longer be authorised to do so by the EU. The certification would need to be transferred to an EU Notified Body.

Companies must also be mindful of the Declaration of Conformity, which is a legal document that must accompany all CE Marked products sold in the European Union and other countries which recognise the mark.

After Exit day, “distributers” of UK products in Ireland will become “importers” or, they may become authorised representatives, or they may even be treated as a manufacturer if they are marketing the products under their own brand. These roles all entail further legal obligations.

Where a product is being sourced from the UK or another country and no longer carries a CE Mark, other steps will need to be taken. The certification will need to be transferred from the UK Notified Body to an EU27 Notified Body or a new CE Mark applied for.

Further information is here.

[the Exit day may change, please keep following this Blog]

Latest Instructions (UK Brexit)

UPDATE : HMRC has issued further easements (imports to UK) – here.

UPDATE : the EU Council has agreed its positions on basic road and air connectivity. Here and here.

The following are latest instructions issued by the UK government and agencies :

(1) agreement is reached to continue the EU dual-use controls (Open General Licence) – applies to certain equipment – here (UK) – background – here (EU).

(2) using UKCA label (goods) – and CE marked goods circulation – here.

(3) letters issued individually to EU trading businesses – here.

(4) simplified customs procedures (updated) – here. (I updated the post I had made earlier on this topic)

Transitional simplified procedures – here.