The UK Conformity Assessment (UKCA) mark was created to replace the CE mark on goods placed on the market in Great Britain after EU Exit.
The mark was due to become mandatory from 1 January 2023, but will now not come into force until 1 January 2025. The government will continue to recognise the CE marking in Great Britain until that date (although businesses have been able to use the UKCA mark if they wish since 1 January 2021).
Business Secretary Grant Shapps said the extension was to give businesses the freedom to focus on other matters given the difficult economic conditions:
“This move will give businesses the breathing space and flexibility they need at this crucial time and ensure that our future system for product safety marking is fit for purpose, providing the highest standard for consumers without harming businesses.”
To support manufacturers further, the government is also reviewing the wider product safety framework with the aim of minimising the burden of businesses, including:
· To reduce labelling costs, the government will allow businesses to affix the UKCA marking and include importer information for products from EEA countries on an accompanying document or label until 31 December 2027
· The government will also allow conformity assessment activities for CE marking undertaken by 31 December 2024 to be used by manufacturers as the basis for their UKCA marking, until 31 December 2027.
The CE mark will continue to be required for goods placed on the market in the EU after 2024. The situation in Northern Ireland is a little more complex. Businesses placing goods on the market in NI will continue to use the CE mark after 2024 if an EU-based assessment body was used for conformity assessment, or have the choice of using either the CE or the separate ‘UKNI’ mark if they use a UK-based assessment body.
The government has published a database of conformity bodies to help businesses identify the appropriate body to certify their products.
To learn more about the UKCA mark, read our blog guide or contact a member of our Manufacturing Service for support.