A new UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) mark has now replaced the existing CE mark for products sold into Great Britain’s marketplace.
Adding to the mounting paperwork and costings to keep tabs on, the safety hallmark will apply across the UK, though Northern Ireland will require a separate UKNI badge, as detailed here.
The marking came into play from January 1st, though businesses will largely have until January 1st 2022 to adapt, giving one more year where the CE mark will be acceptable. From the start of 2022 the CE marking will not be recognised in Britain for areas covered by the Government guidance, though an item that carried the mark would by no means be prohibited from sale so long as it also carries the UKCA stamp too.
The marking does not apply for product shipped to market before the 1st of January 2021 and as such existing stock can still be sold through in confidence.
This guidance is not unanimously the case, however, and businesses should consult the Government’s page on the subject to best understand whether immediate conformity is required as exceptions to the rule do exist for some product groups. Areas where self-declaration is now permitted can be seen here.
A further consideration for businesses is the cost to obtain the “UKCA” mark, which according to the FT, runs at £500 per product for the safety mark, despite the fact that in many instances it will offer little in the way of marked difference from the CE mark conforming for the rest of Europe. For many small businesses this may prove be an insurmountable barrier to profitability.
For some businesses the opening of a EU-based subsidiary has been the answer to a continuation of smooth supply to European clients where product has arrived from the far-east.
Those selling in to the EU will find that the UKCA mark is not recognised and a CE mark will still be required.
Further reading on changes attributed to Brexit:
- UK Bike makers are required to achieve a 70% UK made make up to qualify for zero duty exports, as before. Many have temporarily ceased trading across borders.
- The Department for International Trade has confirmed the continuation of anti-dumping duties on many Chinese cycling products.
- Brooks supply to bike shops remains normal, but consumer direct trading from Italian warehouse back to UK is halted.