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All you need to know about UKCA Marking and Testing in 2021

With the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, new regulations will be put in place to fill the void in which EU legislation has left. One of these significant regulatory transitions is the move from the EU’s CE marking, which is a clear indicator that products complied with European product standards, to the newly formed UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA).

 This change in regulation will have a massive impact on supply chains that interact with the United Kingdom. Due to this, organizations must be aware of the details to ensure they correctly prepare for it, mitigating any chances of any potential issues. 

This article aims to inform and give a full rundown of the UKCA marking change, discussing its details, how to obtain it, and where it is valid.

 What is the UKCA Mark?

The UK conformity assessed (UKCA) marking UKCA marking is an image printed on all products within the United Kingdom, including Scotland, Wales, England, and Northern Ireland. This mark replaces the CE marking, which was most commonly used for products known as “new approach” goods.

The marking is a requirement for all products brought into the country as it is a benchmark of quality that is mandatory for the country. 

When using the UKCA marking for products, it is essential to understand that: 

  • UKCA markings must be placed on the product by the manufacturer or an authorized representative
  • Placing the UKCA marking makes you responsible for the product’s conformity with the requirements of the relevant legislation.
  • Only use UKCA marking to show conformity with relevant UK legislation
  • Do not use the UKCA marking on products that do not have a requirement to do so. 

 Is UKCA the same as CE?

The UKCA and CE marking are very much alike. This includes technical requirements and conformity assessments. However, Great Britain has introduced separate guidance and conditions for the products below:

Click the links to find out more about these specific products regulations.

When does the UKCA mark come into effect?

The transition from the traditional European CE mark to the new UKCA version will have come into effect from the 1st of January 2021. However, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, there has been an extension to allow organizations time to switch over their internal processes to the new directive correctly. The timeframe for this can be broken down into:

1st of January 2021: 

By the 1st, the UKCA mark will officially replace the CE mark within the United Kingdom. However, the CE mark will still be accepted until the 1st of January 2023

As well as this, the UKCA will be required immediately if all of the following criteria are applicable:

  • You are putting products in the GB market. 
  • Your products are covered in legislation that requires a UKCA mark.
  • Any of your goods require a third-party conformity assessment. (this also includes conformity assessment carried out by a UK conformity assessment body)

1st of January 2023: 

By 2023, all UKCA requirements will fully apply within Great Britain for the relevant product categories. As well as this, CE-marked products will no longer be able to be imported into the UK without a UKCA mark.

Where is the UKCA mark valid?

The UKCA marking is valid within the entirety of the United Kingdom (apart from Northern Ireland, which requires both the CE and UKCA marking). However, it is not valid within Europe. Therefore a CE mark will also be needed on the products if they are being imported to both the United Kingdom and Europe.

What kind of goods require UKCA marking?

Several different product types require the new UKCA marking. These include: 

  • Toys
  • Recreational craft and personal watercrafts
  • Simple pressure vessels
  • Non-automatic weighing instruments
  • Measuring instruments
  • Elevators
  • ATEX
  • Radio equipment
  • Pressure equipment
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Gas appliances
  • Machinery
  • Outdoor equipment
  • Ecodesign products
  • Aerosols
  • Low voltage electrical equipment
  • Restriction of hazardous substances (ROHS directive) 

For more information on which products are required to follow this change, click here.

How to obtain the UKCA mark? 

To obtain the UKCA marking five steps need to be completed. These include: 

1. Decided what directives are relevant to your product 

Research which directives are relevant to your product that requires the UKCA marking, then begin to prepare the requirements of these directives. 

2. Ensure your product is compliant with the directives

Once research has been completed, you must test your products to ensure they conform to the directive’s requirements. This can be done via lab testing or the risk assessment checks relevant to the product. 

3. Create and constantly update a technical file that is in line with the requirements of the directive 

As well as testing, a technical file must be created which records the general details of the product, including: 

  • 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

These records must be kept for at least ten years. Therefore, it is vital to update this as details change continually. 

4. Write and sign a Declaration of Conformity to be held with the original technical file. 

As well as a technical file, a Declaration of Conformity must be created and signed to go alongside the technical file and the application. This document must include: 

  • your name and complete business address or that of your authorized representative
  • the product’s serial number, model, or type identification
  • a statement, stating you take full responsibility for the product’s compliance
  • the details of the approved body which 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 issued

5. Apply for the UKCA marking in accordance with the requirements of the directives. 

Once the documentation is complete and the tests are completed as required, you may apply for the UKCA marking according to which directives apply to your products. 

Can I self-certify UKCA?

It is possible to self certify for UKCA. However, this only applies to specific situations. To find out more about these situations, click here.

Can I use CE and UKCA marks at the same time?

Yes, it is possible to have both CE and UKCA markings at the same time. This is especially true if you plan to send your products to both Europe and the United Kingdom. 

About HQTS

HQTS has over 25 years of experience in industry-leading quality control for various industries, including Product testing. We provide rigorous testing and ensuring organizations run safely, efficiently and are up-to-date with the latest regulations. To learn more about this, contact us today.

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