North East Connected

What is UKCA?

The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is a new product marking that has been introduced in the United Kingdom (UK) following its departure from the European Union (EU) at the end of the Brexit transition period. Similar to the CE marking that was previously used in the UK, the UKCA marking demonstrates that a product conforms to certain standards, making it eligible for sale and use in the UK market. In this article, we will delve into the details of what exactly UKCA is, its purpose, and how it differs from the previous CE marking.

The UKCA marking is specifically required for products that are placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland). It covers most goods that previously required the CE marking, including those in sectors such as machinery, electrical equipment, medical devices, construction products, and toys, among others. The introduction of the UKCA marking is part of the UK’s efforts to ensure that its product conformity assessment processes are effectively separate from those of the EU, while still maintaining high safety standards.

The UKCA marking is only applicable in the UK and should not be used on products intended for the EU market. If a manufacturer wants to sell their products in both the UK and the EU, they will need to affix both the UKCA and CE markings, ensuring that the relevant requirements for both markets are met. However, it is important to note that there are specific rules regarding the use of the CE marking in the UK after the Brexit transition period, and manufacturers should seek guidance from the appropriate authorities to ensure compliance.

In terms of the visual appearance, the UKCA marking may look similar to the previous CE marking, with its distinctive symbol placed on the product or its accompanying documentation. However, there are some differences that distinguish the two. For instance, while the CE marking is surrounded by a circular border with the word “CE” underneath, the UKCA marking has an uppercase “UKCA” inside an ovoid border. The UKCA marking may also require additional information to be included, such as the name and address of the UK responsible person or the authorized representative.

In order to affix the UKCA marking to a product, a manufacturer must ensure that their product undergoes the necessary conformity assessment procedures. This involves testing and assessing the product against the relevant UK standards and technical regulations. Additionally, the involvement of a UK-approved conformity assessment body may be required for certain categories of products. These procedures will ensure that the product meets the necessary health, safety, and environmental requirements mandated by the UK authorities.

Transition periods for the use of the UKCA marking have been put in place to allow businesses time to adjust. Until January 1, 2023, products that meet the requirements for the CE marking can still be sold and used in the UK, and the CE marking will continue to be recognized in most cases. However, there are some exceptions, such as for certain products requiring third-party assessment, where the UKCA marking becomes mandatory from the end of the transition period.

In conclusion, the UKCA marking is an important new product marking introduced in the UK following its departure from the EU. It demonstrates that a product meets the necessary UK standards and regulations, allowing it to be sold and used in the UK market. Manufacturers should ensure that their products undergo the appropriate conformity assessment procedures and are marked accordingly. It is crucial to stay up to date with the latest guidance and regulations regarding the use of the UKCA marking, especially for businesses that operate in both the UK and the EU markets.

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