CE marking and UKCA marking: your questions answered

With the ongoing changes in respect of conformity marking including CE, UKCA and CE+UKNI the GAI has prepared a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help members navigate the choppy waters ahead. The deadline of 1 January 2023 for products with CE marking only no longer being accepted in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) is fast approaching therefore members should ensure they are doing all they can to prepare themselves. 

What is UKCA Marking?

The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is a new UK product marking that will be used for goods being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland).It covers most goods which previously required the CE marking.

The UKCA marking cannot be used for goods placed on the Northern Ireland market, which require the CE marking or UKNI marking which must be accompanied by the CE Mark.

Does UKCA Marking apply to my product?

Your product will need UKCA Certification from 1 January 2023 onwards under the following conditions:

  • It is for the market in Great Britain (therefore not Northern Ireland)
  • It is covered by legislation which requires the UKCA marking such as
    the UK Construction Product
    Regulation 2020 or European Machinery Directive through Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008
  • It requires mandatory third-party conformity assessment
  • It is within the scope of a UK designated standard  

Who can issue UKCA Certification?

UKCA Marking can only be issued using a UK-recognised ‘Approved Body’ for third party conformity assessment. The guidelines outlining how to meet UKCA Certification requirements can be seen in the relevant designated standard for that product group. What responsibilities must be met by the manufacturer, and the necessary level of involvement from an Approved Body, depends on the level of Attestation and Constancy of Performance (AVCP) the product complies with.  

Under AVCP System 1, which is the most common level in the hardware industry, a UK Approved Body must take responsibility for inspecting and ensuring continued compliance with satisfactory Factory Production Controls. The fire test data may come from either an EU Notified or UK Approved Body. However, the acceptance of this data
for UKCA Certification will be dependent on the decision by the UK Approved Body which will be issuing the
UKCA Certification. 

What are the rules and regulations regarding branding of products for UKCA and CE marking?

The labelling of the product necessary to meet UKCA & CE Marking schemes is outlined in the applicable harmonised and designated standards. If both CE & UKCA Marking is being applied, then separate labels with a full set of information on each label must be included. In addition, separate Declaration of Conformity and Declaration of Performance documents must be supplied for UKCA & CE Marking respectively. Specific DoP Templates for both are available for GAI members on GAI website. 

  • When attaching UKCA labels and markings the relevant UK legislation must be referenced. 
  • UKCA markings must only be placed on a product by you as the manufacturer or your authorised representative (where allowed for in the relevant legislation)
  • When attaching the UKCA marking, the manufacturer takes full responsibility for your product’s conformity with the requirements of the relevant legislation

Can I still use CE marked products in Great Britain?

From 1 January 2023, CE marking will not be recognised in Great Britain. However, a product bearing the CE marking would still be valid for sale in the UK so long as it was also UKCA marked and complied with the relevant UK rules. Products currently requiring a CE marking will still need a CE marking for sale in the EU from 1 January 2021.

Is UKCA Certification recognised in the EU?

No. The UKCA marking is not recognised on the EU market. Products need a CE marking for sale in the EU.

Is CE Certification still recognised in the UK?

CE Certification is still recognised within the UK until the 1 January 2023. After this CE Certification will hold no validity in Great Britain, however, will still be recognised in Northern Ireland.

Is dual conformity marking permitted?

Dual marking is permitted, therefore a product can be placed on any of the relevant markets providing the relevant mark is affixed. The only exception to this is the combination of CE and CE+UKNI marking. Each marking will require its own DoP, certificate of Assessment of Performance as applicable) and supporting documentation.

Do I need to test twice to gain CE & UKCA Certification? 

If you require both CE and UKCA Certification then you will need to follow the appropriate guidance in the harmonised and designated standards which outlines the appropriate tests required. Should you be Certificating under AVCP System 3 then you will need to obtain test reports from an EU Notified Body for CE Marking and test reports from a UK Approved Body for UKCA and/or CE+UKNI Marking.  

Can we sell our products into Northern Ireland with the UKCA mark?

No – the two options are CE or CE+UKNI. If the product is only marketed into the EU and Northern Ireland, then CE Marking will be sufficient. CE marking will still be acceptable in NI as under the Northern Ireland Protocol, NI currently remains part of the European Single market. 

If the product is only marketed into Great Britain and Northern Ireland, then UKCA and CE+UKNI Marking will be necessary and CE will not.

What is a UK designated standard?

UK designated standard is the UK equivalent of a EN harmonised standard. This is developed by consensus, which is designated by Secretary of State and is recognised by government in part or in full by publishing its reference on www.gov.uk in a formal notice of publication. At present both harmonised and designated standards are identical but there remains the possibility for divergence at a further stage.

What is an Approved Body?

From 1 January 2021, UK notified bodies operating under the EU Construction Products Regulation 2011 and based in the UK have been granted new UK ‘approved body’ status and listed on a new UK database. Approved bodies will be able to undertake conformity assessment activity for UK designated standards. Where an approved body has undertaken the assessment, the manufacturer must affix the UK marking. Rules around affixing the new UK marking will be equivalent to current CE marking.

I have CE Certification with a European Body, how do I get UKCA Marking to market into the UK?

You will need to contact a UK Approved Body and submit an application form for UKCA Marking if your product falls under System 1. You may then
present the existing documentation to support your CE Marking and the Certification Body can determine what additional steps are needed. 

I am a distributor with existing stocks of CE marked product with no UKCA marking – will I still be able to sell these after 1 January 2023?

Yes – these items will be deemed to have already been placed on the market therefore will still be able to be sold.

What is meant by “placing on the market” in Great Britain?

The UK Government defines it as: a fully manufactured good is ‘placed on the market’ when a written or verbal agreement (or offer of an agreement) to transfer ownership or possession or other property rights in the product is exchanged. ‘Placing a good on the market’ means each individual good, not a type of good. It does not require the physical transfer of the good.

You can usually provide proof of placing on the market on the basis of any relevant document ordinarily used in business transactions, including: contracts of sale concerning goods which have already been manufactured and meet the legal requirements; invoices; documents concerning the shipping of goods for distribution

The relevant economic operator (whether manufacturer, importer or distributor) bears the burden of proof for demonstrating that the good was placed on the market before 1 January 2021.

For more help see GAI Technical Briefing 32G ‘Brexit and standards’ and the GAI Specifiers Guide ‘UKCA marking, CE marking and the CPR’ or contact GAI technical manager Douglas Masterson on [email protected]

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