What’s the UKCA model and the way will it have an effect on my small enterprise?

Originally written by Anna Jordan about Small Business

After leaving the EU, small businesses will have to think about changes to how their products are labeled, including the UKCA.

We clarify what the UKCA mark is and what you need to do to ensure compliance.

What is the UKCA trademark?

The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark shown on the left is a mark for products marketed in the UK (England, Scotland and Wales). It replaces the CE mark.

Do I have to use the UKCA marking?

If you sell goods within the UK – and they previously required the CE mark – then yes. In addition to goods for which the CE mark was previously required, it is also required for aerosols for which a “Reverse Epsilon” mark was previously required (see figure below).

Epsilom marker

The UKCA came into force on January 1, 2021, when the Brexit transition period ended. However, a grace period has been granted for adjustments so that you can use the CE mark until January 1, 2022 while you make adjustments. However, you should try to switch to the UKCA trademark as soon as possible.

You only need to use the UKCA before January 1, 2022 if all of the following conditions are true:

  • Your product is intended for the UK market
  • It is regulated by law and requires UKCA marking
  • A conformity assessment must be carried out by a third party
  • The conformity assessment was carried out by a British conformity assessment body

The product areas listed below are covered by the UKCA marking:

  • Toy safety
  • Pleasure boats and personal watercraft
  • Simple pressure vessels
  • Electromagnetic compatibility
  • Not automatic scales
  • Measuring device
  • Elevators
  • ATEX
  • Radios
  • Printing equipment
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Gas appliances
  • machinery
  • Equipment for outdoor use
  • Eco design
  • Aerosols
  • Low voltage electrical equipment
  • Restriction of hazardous substances

These products are identified by the UKCA mark, but are subject to some specific rules:

  • Medical equipment
  • Rail interoperability
  • Building products
  • Civil explosives

However, the marking does not apply to existing products – that is, the product was fully manufactured and CE marked before January 1, 2021. These products can still be CE marked in the UK if compliance testing has been carried out by a third party before January 1, 2021.

What rules do I have to follow?

The CE marking is only valid in the UK for areas where UKCA and CE regulations remain unchanged. If the EU changes its CE rules for member states and you CE mark your product, you may not be able to sell it in the UK even if it is before December 31, 2021.

The technical requirements and compliance processes and standards you need to meet for UKCA are largely similar to CE standards. This includes the self-declaration.

Legislative areas that allow self-declaration for UKCA labeling are listed in the table below.

legislation Scope of products that can be declared yourself
Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016 all products
Toy (safety) regulations 2011 Products for which all essential requirements are covered by established standards and the manufacturer has applied these standards
The restriction on the use of certain hazardous substances in the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012 all products
Medical Device Ordinance 2002 Some Class I devices
Radio Equipment Ordinance 2017 Products for which all essential requirements are covered by established standards and the manufacturer has applied these standards
The regulations for pressure equipment (safety) 2016 Category I pressure equipment.
Construction Products Regulation (Regulation (EU) 305/2011 in UK law and amended) System 4 products
Regulations for pleasure craft 2017 Certain categories of recreational vehicles as defined in the legislation
The regulations for electrical equipment (safety) 2016 all products
Regulations for the delivery of machines (safety) 2008 Products for which all essential requirements are covered by established standards and the manufacturer has applied these standards
The equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres regulations 2016 Equipment group II, equipment category 3
Personal Protective Equipment Regulations (Regulation (EU) 2016/425 as implemented and amended in UK law) Personal protective equipment of category I.

Some transitional measures apply to many of the product types listed above. Until January 1st, 2023, you can apply the UKCA marking on a label attached to the product or on an accompanying document for most goods (with the exception of those subject to special regulations). It is up to economic operators (manufacturers, importers or distributors) to ensure that the UKCA marking is retained.

Construction products, medical devices, rail system interoperability and transportable pressure equipment are subject to UKCA, but these transitional measures do not apply.

If you want to adjust the size of the letters in the UKCA image to suit your product or packaging, they must be in proportion to the image displayed on the government website. They must be at least 5 mm high, unless otherwise specified in the relevant legal provisions. It must also be permanently visible. From January 1st, 2023, it must be permanently attached.

Where do I put the UKCA mark?

In most cases you will have to put the label on the product itself or on the packaging. In other cases it can be included in the manual or other supporting literature. It depends on the product.

Here is a model of what an IKEA toy would look like with the new marking:

UKCA marking on IKEA toys

UKCA markings must be affixed to a product either by you as the manufacturer or by an approved authority (the latter is only permitted in accordance with the relevant legal provisions).

When you affix a UKCA mark, you take full responsibility for the compliance of your product with the relevant laws. You may not post any mark or mark that would misinterpret the meaning or form of the UKCA to any third party, and you may not post anything that obscures the UKCA mark.

What technical documentation do I need?

Keep records

You (or the relevant authority) must keep records to demonstrate that your product complies with the regulations. It must be kept for up to ten years after the product has been placed on the market. This information can be requested at any time from market surveillance or enforcement authorities to verify that your product is compliant.

Again, the documentation you need to keep depends on the laws relevant to your product. However, you must keep a general record of how the products are designed and manufactured. how it has been demonstrated that the product complies with the relevant requirements; and the address of the manufacturer and any storage facilities. Keep this information in the form of a technical file that can be presented to the market surveillance authority upon request.

UK Declaration of Conformity

The information required in the declaration of conformity largely corresponds to that of an EU declaration of conformity. This may vary depending on the application legislation, but in general it should include:

  • Your name and full business address or that of your proxy
  • Serial number, model or type identification of the product
  • A statement showing that you accept full responsibility for compliance with the product
  • Information on the approved body that carried out the conformity assessment procedure (if applicable)
  • The relevant legislation with which the product complies
  • Your name and signature
  • The date the declaration was made
  • Supplementary information (if applicable)

You need to list the following:

  • Relevant UK Legislation (instead of EU Legislation)
  • Standards set in the United Kingdom instead of those listed in the Official Journal of the European Union

Can I have UKCA and CE marked on the same product?

If your product is sold in the UK and EU, you can have both markings.

UKNI is used alongside CE for products that are marketed in Northern Ireland. Please visit the government website for more information on how to use the UKNI marking.

Where can I get additional advice?

Further questions can be sent to [email protected]

Continue reading

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What is the UKCA brand and how will it affect my small business?

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