The government has announced a post-Brexit UK-specific equivalent to the CE mark, to be known as as the UKCA mark.
The CE mark is applied to goods as a declaration that they meet the essential requirements of all relevant EU Directives. It must be applied before goods are placed on the market or put into service within the EU single market.
All of the EU Directives which require CE marking have already been implemented in UK law, for example; the EU Machinery Directive, which affects e-Bikes, is implemented in the UK as the The Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008.
These UK laws will continue to apply and until they are amended, they will continue to require CE marking, and the maintenance of a Technical File, for applicable goods placed on, or put into service in, the UK market. Manufacturers will still need to CE mark any goods intended for sale in the EU single market just as they do now.
At some point, though, a post-Brexit UK Government may amend the various product safety legislation and require UKCA marking instead of CE marking, for goods destined for the UK market. The BA expects this to be years, rather than months, away.
The only situation for which this could require some faster action is if products require approval by an EU ‘Notified Body’. Relevant to the cycle industry, this applies mainly to PPE such as helmets. If the approval was through a UK notified body, this may no longer be recognised by the EU for CE marking after no-deal Brexit.
Goods made in the UK which are exported to the European Union may have to be stamped with two marks: CE for EU markets and UKCA for Great Britain and Northern Ireland. For some products that could also mean two sets of tests, as EU nations may not recognise ones done by UK organisations.
The view of the BA is that there is little point scrambling to add a UKCA mark to products at least until the final form of Brexit becomes clear; no-deal, ‘May’s Deal’ and delays or extensions of Article 50 are all still options on the table. Its members are encouraged to hang fire for now, to continue with CE marking, reassure any suppliers that no precipitate action is needed just yet, and await further developments.
According to the report on GOV.UK’s website, additional guidance about placing products requiring the UKCA marking on the UK market will be published shortly.
Over the last two years, the government has been implementing a programme of work to ensure that the UK is prepared to leave the EU on 29 March 2019. Last week, GOV.UK published guidance on consumer rights, protections and cross border enforcement in case of a no-deal Brexit.