So, here we are on the other side of Brexit. Now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union (EU) many of our customers have been asking what difference that makes to the way in which they work with our business.
The short answer is that it makes no difference at all. The way in which we deal with our customers, conduct business with them, and provide services will suffer no change or alteration. There are a few adjustments on our side, of course, but that is for us to deal with.
That being said, there is one difference we think you should be aware of regarding the safety certification of metalworking machinery. This adjustment refers to the change from CE marking on machinery, to the new UK marking known as the UKCA mark. In this article, we have compiled a comprehensive source for UKCA marking guidance, and hope to have answered any questions you might have about UKCA marking requirements, UKCA mark guidelines, and the relevance of the CE mark going forward.
What is the CE mark?
The CE (Conformitè Europëenne) marking is a governmental mark that confirms that a product has met EU health and safety standards required for distribution throughout the EEA (European Economic Area).
Before 31st December 2020, any machine intended for distribution in the UK needed only a CE mark. However, as the UK is no longer an EU member, and no longer part of the EEA, the CE mark no longer covers UK distribution.
What is the UKCA marking?
The UKCA (United Kingdom Conformity Assessment) will replace the CE mark from 1st January 2021 for any new machine intended for sale in the UK. It is an exclusive declaration of compliance with UK mandated legal requirements and is completely separate from the EU parameters covered in the CE mark.
Does the CE mark still exist?
Yes. The CE mark will still be required for machines being distributed within the EU. Also, any machinery certified for UK sale before 31st December 2020 will still be covered by the CE mark in the UK until January 2022.
However, any new machinery released to the UK market post 1st January 2021 may need the new UKCA certification.
Transitioning from CE to UKCA marking
Until 1st January 2022, it will be considered adequate to affix the UKCA marking onto machinery in addition to its design. The UKCA logo must remain attached to the machine as it cannot be sold in the UK without it.
However, after 1st January 2022 all machinery will have to include the UKCA mark as part of its design; it will no longer be allowed to be affixed as an addition.
Checking for the CE UKCA mark
If a product requires either a CE or UKCA mark, both UK and EU law states that the mark must be clearly visible on the machine’s exterior. If a consumer is unsure of a product’s compliance with UKCA or CE, then they are within their legal rights to request a declaration of conformity.
When to use the UKCA marking
The UKCA marking is only required for machinery brought to UK market after 1st January 2021. If a machine was certified under the CE marking and ready for UK distribution before this official Brexit date, then a UKCA mark is not compulsory.
How the UKCA marking will be used
The regulations around presenting the UKCA logo as proof of compliance varies slightly from product to product. However, these are the common rules on UKCA marking positioning:
- The UKCA mark must be affixed to the machine by either the manufacturer or by an authorised party.
- The guidance for UKCA markings state that whoever affixes the marking to the machinery must take full responsibility for its compliance.
- The marking must not appear on any machine that does not need it.
- The marking cannot be hidden from view in any way.
- The logo must not be obscured in any way that might alter its appearance.
How big is the UKCA mark?
- The UKCA can be as large as the manufacturer pleases but cannot be smaller than 5 x 5 mm.
- As previously stated, from 1st January 2022 the marking must be integrated into the design of any relevant product.
- The mark must be both legible and completely visible.
- All letters will be in the correct proportion with each other, as set out in the official logo design.
How does the CE to UKCA change affect our business?
To reiterate, although this certification has now changed, this will not affect how we do business with you, our customers, in any way. The only change is the presence of the UKCA mark in place of the CE mark on any new products released to the UK market from now onwards.
For further help and advice on this topic, contact us on +44 (0)1432 346 586 or get in touch via our website.
Published 11th January 2021