CE Accredited Fabrications post-Brexit
Well, it was a long lead-up to it, but Brexit has finally happened and the UK has severed ties with its European mainland neighbours and is going it alone again. We’ve already covered what this could mean for British businesses over the past few years as Brexit loomed closer and closer. Today we’re going to take a look at the effects of Brexit on health and safety here in the UK.
Whilst we’ve written many articles on CE markings and CE Accredited Fabrication, CE is the mark that applies to products that comply with the relevant European Union legislation, allowing the product to be sold anywhere in the European Economic Area (EEA). However, the UK is no longer considered part of the European Economic Area so the UK has developed a new product marking to be used for goods being brought to market in Britain which applies to most goods which required the CE marking before Brexit, the UKCS (UK Conformity Assessed) marking.
It’s important to remember that goods destined for the Northern Ireland market will still need to bear the CE marking and UKNI (UK Northern Ireland) marking. The UKNI marking should not be used on its own, it must always be accompanied by the CE marking. However, products that bear both the CE and UKNI marking cannot be placed on the market in the European Union. Yes, it’s confusing!
Although the UKCA marking came into effect at the beginning of 2021, in order to give businesses time to adjust to new requirements, the CE marking can still be used in most cases until 1st January, 2022.
The CE marking is still valid in Britain for areas where the EU and British rules remain the same. However, if the EU rules are changed and you mark your products on the basis of the new rules, you will be unable to use the CE marking on goods to be sold in Britain – and this applies right now. Goods that are still bound for the EU market will still need to bear the CE marking as the UKCA marking is not recognised on the European market.
The UKCA marking must be applied to either the product itself or on the packaging. In some cases, the UKCA marking will also need to be shown on manuals or other instructions.
As is the case with the CE marking, it’s vital to ensure that the UKCA marking is authentic. As we’ve discussed in the past, the mark has sometimes been misused or even counterfeited and it’s likely that this will also be the case with the UKCA marking. This means that it’s vital to ensure that the UKCA used is genuine. The UK government has published online image files containing the authentic marking which can be downloaded free of charge here.
There is likely to be some confusion as we all adjust to the new requirements when it comes to product marking. As always, here at Safety Fabrications, we’ll be doing our best to ensure that we keep you up to date with all developments on this issue so that you’re informed on all current requirements.