CE marking extended for UK, UKCA redundant for electronics products

The government have introduced legislation [1] that indefinitely recognises CE marking for UK market access. This means that applying the UKCA mark for electronics products is no longer required.

This extension comes into force on 1st October 2024, before the (most recently) proposed UKCA introduction date of 31 December 2024

Specific Regulations

This has been done for a number of regulations. The ones that we are interested in (along with their EU counterpart laws) are:

EMC The Electromagnetic Compatibility Regulations 2016 EMC Directive 2014/30/EU
Electrical Safety The Electrical Equipment (Safety) Regulations 2016 Low Voltage Directive 3014/35/EU
RoHS The Restriction of the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations 2012 RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU
Radio Equipment The Radio Equipment Regulations 2017 Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EU
Machinery The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008 Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC
ATEX The Equipment and Protective Systems Intended for Use in Potentially Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2016 ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU

 

What does it not apply to?

UKCA marking will still be required for the other equipment including Medical Devices and Marine Equipment.  See the page on the UK government website for more details.

Essentially the government departments in charge of these regulations have not yet decided whether or not.

 

Amendment Wording

What does the amendment do? The Explanatory Note at the bottom of the regulation makes it clearer

The amendments made to each of these pieces of legislation revoke provision that sets out the expiry of provisions which themselves allow obligations in the legislation as it applies in Great Britain to be met by complying with requirements of the corresponding EU law…

Meaning: the expiry date of CE marking is withdrawn

…they replace this provision with provision allowing relevant economic operators to meet any conformity assessment or testing requirements in the legislation as it applies in Great Britain by complying with the corresponding EU conformity assessment or testing requirements.

Meaning: CE marking is acceptable for placing products on the market in the UK

 

Option for continuing to apply UKCA

If you want to keep applying the UKCA mark then you can do this. One reason the UK government website [2] gives for continuing with UKCA marking is:

This is designed to provide longer-term certainty and flexibility for businesses in case the UK mandates UKCA for certain regulations in the future.

If you wanted to try and bet on the future, given how much of a success UKCA has been so far, then you are more than welcome to do so.

Their is a “fast track” available for equipment compliant with CE marking requirements whereby the manufacturer:

  1. Ensure conformity with CE marking Essential Requirements
  2. Affix the UKCA marking
  3. Draw up UK Declaration of Conformity and list compliance with EU regulations

There are future plans for the UKCA mark to have the option to be applied separately to the main label or in the accompanying documentation (either by the manufacturer or the importer), or to use digital labelling. These are supposed to be coming later in 2024 but with a general election looming, let’s all pretend to be surprised when this gets delayed.

 

Effect on manufacturers?

All the hard work you have spent updating documentation, labelling, technical Documentation, producing UK Declarations of Conformity to support the application of UKCA marking in parallel to CE marking has been regrettably rendered rather redundant (wasted).

On the plus side, your paperwork burden just significantly reduced for the future!

 

What are we doing at Unit 3 Compliance?

From now on, our Quotations for testing for the UK market will only make reference to CE marking, EU Directives (the right hand column above), and Harmonised Standards.

We are working on the assumption that most of our customers want to minimise their costs, and minimise the amount of time spent creating paperwork and labelling. Instead, you’d rather be designing your next product, managing the production, answering emails, etc!

Any questions, please get in touch – hello@unit3compliance.co.uk

 

References:

[1] SI 2024 No. 696 “The Product Safety and Metrology etc. (Amendment) Regulations 2024”

[2] Using the UKCA marking – gov.uk