The British government announced on 14 November that it will recognise the CE marking of products until 31 December 2024. Companies will therefore have an extra two years to apply the new UKCA safety marking. Postponement does not mean cancellation: those exporting to the UK best bear it in mind anyway.
It was originally planned that CE marking would no longer be accepted in Britain (excluding Northern Ireland) for products marketed there from 1 January 2023. That deadline now moves to 1 January 2025.
According to Business Secretary Grant Shapps, this postponement is designed to give companies a chance to focus on growth, not regulations. Given the difficult economic conditions, the UK government does not want to burden business with the requirement to meet the original deadline.
What is the UKCA marking?
The UK Conformity Assessed (UKCA) marking was introduced in January 2021 as part of the UK’s own regulatory framework. This certificate shows that products comply with their own product safety regulations and is designed to protect consumers. The British label applies to a whole range of products marketed in Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland but not Northern Ireland).
CE marking can therefore still be used until 31 December 2024 (possibly alongside a UKCA marking) for products exported to the UK. After this date, only the UKCA marking will apply and only products with the UK marking may be sold in the UK.
Is the UKCA marking needed in Northern Ireland?
No. Special rules apply in Northern Ireland: EU conformity markings are still used there. For most goods, this is the CE marking. However, products brought to the British market from Northern Ireland must also bear a UKNI mark.
Which products are covered by the UKCA marking?
Most products covered by CE marking rules must comply with UKCA rules. A full list of these products can be found here.
Some products covered by the UKCA marking are subject to additional special rules. These include medical devices, construction products and hazardous substances.
More information on the UKCA marking, Northern Ireland rules and the products concerned can be found on the UK government website.