UKCA Mark Labels Explained
A lot has changed post-Brexit, and perhaps the hugest change of all has been the implementation of new, UK-created trading regulations. And since the UK and the EU no longer operate on the same standards, the former CE product label has had to give way to a new UKCA mark.
We’ve all seen the CE mark on just about everything we’ve ever brought, whether it’s toys, manufacturing machinery, or even PPE. Now, manufacturers need to move over to the new UKCA mark, and we are here to explain what this means, and how our labelling machines can help with the transition phase.
The CE Mark
The number of products sold each day on the European Single Market is incredibly vast, so how can you know what you’re buying is legal, and conforms to all of the EU’s Essential Health and Safety Requirements? The CE (Conformitè Europëenne—European Conformity) mark is the answer, and it’s the manufacturer’s declaration that they’ve followed all these guidelines and legal requirements and are manufacturing something that’s safe for sale in the European Union.
The UKCA Mark
Now that the UK is no longer a part of the EU, the country will no longer be following European specifications and requirements. Instead, a new set of UK-designed health and safety requirements will be put in place, necessitating their own compliance label. The UKCA mark stands for ‘UK Conformity Assessed’, and shall replace the former CE mark for any goods either manufactured or sold in the UK. This will cover goods such as toys, machinery electrical equipment, measuring instruments, medical goods, and for the first time, aerosol products.
Northern Ireland enjoys a somewhat unique trading arrangement with the European Union, with much closer ties than the rest of the UK. Because of this, a unique label just for them has been created—the UKNI label—which will run alongside the CE mark to ensure goods can be traded freely between both territories.
Exporting To The EU
If you’re planning to export any UK-made products to the EU then you’ll still need to comply with and use the CE mark, in addition to the UKCA one. Likewise, any products manufactured in the EU to sell in the UK will also need to show both.
When Will The Change Happen?
It already has! The UKCA mark was introduced on the 1st of January this year, for all products being sold in England, Scotland and Wales. For the time being though manufacturers can continue to use the CE marking for most products, as long as they were manufactured before the 31st of December 2020, or if an EU-recognised Notification Body carried out a mandatory third party assessment.
The CE mark will continue to be recognised in the UK until the 1st of January 2022, when all products must show a UKCA mark. These can be temporarily affixed with a label, or placed somewhere in a document that’s accompanying the product. Come January 1st 2023 however, full compliance with a UKCA mark affixed directly to the product during manufacture will be required, just as is the case with CE.
Here at Atwell Labellers, we are on hand to help make this transition to the UKCA mark as seamless as possible for your business. We can provide contract labelling or labelling machinery to help you place UKCA mark labels on all products after the end of 2021. For more information on how we can help with UKCA mark labels, contact us today.