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UKCA Mark: UK Conformity Assessment

UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA) Mark

With the United Kingdom's impending exit from the European Union, new rules will be implemented to fill the gap that EU regulations have created. One of these major regulatory changes is the transition from the EU's CE marking, which indicates that items met European product standards, to UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA), a certification scheme for products that meet British safety and environmental criteria.

This shift in rules will have a significant impact on supply chains that are linked to the United Kingdom, and as a result, businesses must be conscious of the information to ensure they are appropriately prepared for it and avoid any potential problems.

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What is a UKCA Mark?

The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessment) mark is the UK product marking that is required for certain products being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland). It covers most products that previously required the CE mark. The UKCA marking came into effect on 1 January 2021. However, to allow businesses time to adapt to the new requirements, businesses will still be able to use the CE marking until 31 December 2022 in some circumstances.

When Would You Need a UKCA Mark?

For the time being, the UKCA mark is not required for existing stock, for instance, if your good was fully manufactured, CE marked and ready to place on the market before 1 January 2021, and covered by a UK certificate of conformity, your good can still be sold in Great Britain with a CE marking.

However, in preparation, businesses should be aware and act soon – i.e. before the 1 January 2023 deadline. As, beyond this point, CE markings on goods will no longer be valid in the United Kingdom. This may mean new paperwork, new labels, new packaging, and even new relationships with importers, just to name but a few changes.

In some cases, you may need both a CE and UKCA, if you wish to sell your products across both the European Union and Great Britain. This is because the European Union will not recognise the UKCA, rather continue with the CE.

How to Use the UKCA Marking

In most situations, you must apply the UKCA stamp to the product itself or the packaging. In some cases, it may be placed on documents or other supporting documentation. This will depend on the product's particular legislation. Other general rules regarding the UKCA marking are as follows:

  • When you apply the UKCA marking, it must be clearly visible and legible. If this isn't possible, attach it to the package (if any) or accompanying papers. The only people who may put a UKCA marking on a product are you as the manufacturer or someone acting on your behalf (where permitted by law).
  • When you affix the UKCA marking, you are accepting responsibility for your goods' conformance with the rules of the relevant legislation.
  • You must not put any written or other markings on third parties that may lead them to believe the meaning or shape of the UKCA marking.
  • You should not add any additional markings to the product that will change the visibility, legibility, or significance of the UKCA marking.
  • The UKCA marking cannot be put on items unless there is a specific legal requirement to do so.
  • The UKCA marking can take different forms (for example, the colour does not have to be black), if it remains visible, legible and maintains the required proportions (at least 5mm in height).

Technical Documentation

You must keep records to show that your product meets the necessary legal standards. This must be kept for at least ten years after the item goes on sale. Your records must be kept in accordance with the requirements set out by your state or province. The following are some of the documents and information you'll need to maintain:

    • how the product is designed and manufactured
    • how the product has been shown to conform to the relevant requirements
    • the addresses of the manufacturer and any storage facilities

Be sure to keep all the data as a technical file that may be given to a market surveillance authority if required.

For further information about the UK Conformity Assessment, see here.

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