UKCA Product Compliance – A Guest Article by BSI
Two marks. One solution: BSI
CE and UKCA marking are now compulsory for products being sold in both the UK and the EU. BSI is a one-stop shop for the two standards
The world’s first standards organization, we’re trusted by governments to certify products and services for distribution. This means that we can ensure businesses are confident that their products conform to regulations. We’re now an approved body for the new UKCA (‘United Kingdom Conformity Assessed’) marking, as well as CE marking. Here’s what you need to know about UKCA before you can sell your products on the post-Brexit UK market.
1. When do businesses need to secure UKCA accreditation?
For products sold in the UK, UKCA marking replaced CE marking on January 1st 2021. However, to give businesses enough time to adapt to this change, in most cases you will be able to continue using CE marking until January 1st 2022. The exceptions to this include products such as medical devices, which have until 30th June 2023 to make the transition.
2. Is UKCA recognized outside the UK?
No. If you want to sell in both the UK and EU, you will need to retain CE marking, and get certified for UKCA.
3. Can you use one DoC (Declaration of Conformity) to certify products for both CE and UKCA marking?
No. A DoC is compulsory for products that need CE marking, and to certify the same product for UKCA marking you must draw up another separate DoC. The two declarations must be written by the manufacturer or the authorized representative (not the certification body). The information required for the UK DoC is very similar to that required for the EU DoC, and generally includes:
- Identification of the product
- The legislation according to which it is issued
- The name and business address of the manufacturer or the authorized representative
- The notified body if applicable
- A reference to harmonized standards or other normative documents, where appropriate
Please note that in the case of construction products, a DoP (Declaration of Performance) rather than a DoC is required.
4. Can the same notifying body sign off for both CE and UKCA?
No. Because the UK has left the EU, UK Notified Bodies have lost their status as EU Notified Bodies. This means that CE marking is granted by the notified bodies listed here https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/nando/, but that UKCA marking has to be granted by one of the accredited bodies listed here: https://www.gov.uk/uk-market-conformity-assessment-bodies
If your product was assessed for CE marking by a UK notified body, then that CE marking will no longer be valid. As a notified body in the Netherlands, an EU member state, BSI can help you secure CE marking again.
5. How do the rules differ for Northern Ireland?
The Northern Ireland Protocol, which came into force on 1st January 2021, means that Northern Ireland follows the same rules for placing manufactured goods on the market as EU countries do. You must show that your products adhere to these rules by using UKNI ‘conformity’ marking. The UKNI mark indicates that a product has undergone a mandatory third-party conformity assessment by a body based in the UK.
You can apply for CE marking if either of the following apply to the product in question:
- You have already self-declared that you have followed the relevant product legislation to apply CE marking to the product
- Any mandatory third-party conformity assessment was carried out by an EU-recognized notified body
If either of the two points above are applicable then products with the CE marking can be placed on the market in NI and the EU.
However, you must use the UKNI marking if all of the following apply:
- You are placing certain products on the Northern Ireland market
- Your products require mandatory third-party conformity assessment
- You are planning to use a body to carry out those conformity assessments
You cannot use the UKNI marking if either of the following apply:
– You are placing products on the market in the EU: UKNI marking is not recognized in the EU, so you will have to use CE marking instead
– You are planning to use an EU body to carry out mandatory third-party conformity assessments
6. Who is responsible for UKCA and CE certification?
It is the responsibility of the person who places a product on the European or UK market to make sure that it complies with all relevant requirements of the CE / UKCA marking directives and / or regulations. This person can be a manufacturer, the importer, or the distributor.
7. What are the main standards for tech products that need to get UKCA certification?
There aren’t any generic standards for tech products. Rather, manufacturers need to comply with all of the relevant directives and regulations that apply to their specific product and its features. A list of the relevant directives and regulations can be found at:
- https://www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-ukca-marking (for UKCA marking)
- https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/nando/index.cfm?fuseaction=directive.main (for CE marking)
8. When should you apply for the UKCA mark?
You should apply as soon as possible to make sure that you meet the deadline for transition. Leave it too late and you risk the accredited bodies having a backlog of requests that they are unable to fulfil before the end of the transition period. This may cut off the supply of your product(s) to the UK market.
BSI is the business standards company that enables organizations to turn standards of best practice into habits of excellence, ‘inspiring trust for a more resilient world’. For over a century BSI has driven best practice in organizations around the world. Working with 84,000 clients across 195 countries, it is a truly global business with skills and experience across all sectors including automotive, aerospace, built environment, food and retail and healthcare. Through its expertise in Standards and Knowledge Solutions, Assurance Services, Regulatory Services and Consulting Services, BSI helps clients to improve their performance, grow sustainably, manage risk and ultimately become more resilient.
To learn more, please visit: https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/our-services/product-certification/ukca-mark/
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