Published on: Tue 22 September 2020

CE-mark or UKCA when exporting to UK? | Brexit FAQ's

The UK has left the European Union (EU) and the transition periode ends at 1 January 2021. This means that in the absence of a trade agreement, the UK falls back to its own legislation and WTO legislation. In this series of articles, we shall be dealing with a specific problem economic operators will encounter. At ProductIP we help you prepare as best as we can. These article are based on questions frequently asked (FAQ) to us by economic operators.

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First: this article is not intended for economic operators (1) placing goods on the EU single market from a third country (such as the UK after 1 January 2021), (2) economic operators who place goods in the market in Northern Ireland from the UK and (3) economic operators from the EU who place goods in the market in Northern Ireland. 
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Q: What do I have to do with goods already on the UK market after 1 January 2021?
A: You do not have to do anything. 

Q: What do I have to do with goods if I place them on the UK market after 1 January 2021?
A: The answer to this question depend on what type of goods (product category) you place on the UK market. The UK has already adopted different rules than those of the EU. For example, the EU's regulation for Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures (EU CLP) will not longer apply in the UK and will be replaced with UK CLP legislation: GB Classification, Labelling and Packaging of substances and mixtures Regulation (UK CLP). There is already new legislation adopted for:

Q: To which legislation must my product comply when exporting from the EU to the UK?
A: This depend whether or not the product is (also) placed on the EU market. In most cases products are sold on the EU single market and is the wish to (continue) selling on the UK market. After 1 January 2021 you must comply to EU legislation when selling products on the EU Single Market and to UK legislation when selling products on the UK market. This means that for the same product, different legislation may apply to your product. The answer to the question is therefore: You'll have to make sure that your product complies to both markets legislations. 

Q: Do I have to use the CE-mark and UKCA mark after 1 January 2021?
A1: Up to 1 Janaury 2021 you can show that your product complies to the legislation with the CE-mark. 
A2: After 1 January 2021 you can show that your product complies to UK legislation with the UKCA-mark.
A3: The CE mark will be accepted in the UK until 1 January 2022 at the latest. This depends on the following factors:

  • The CE-marking is applied on the basis of self-declaration;
  • A mandatory third-party conformity assessment was carried out by an EU-certified Notified Body (see the NANDO-database);
  • The certificate of conformity (previously) held by a UK approved Notified Body has been transferred to an EU-certified Notified Body
  • The UK has not adopted new legislation replacing the applicable EU legislation. If this happens, you must comply to the UK legislation. The Market Release Date will therefore be an important date to monitor applicable legislation.

Q: Will the EU recognise the UKCA mark as a valid declaration of compliance to product legislation?
A: No, for products placed on the EU market you must use the CE-mark (when required) 

Q: May I print the CE-mark AND the UKCA mark when required?
A: Yes, this is currenlty permitted under EU legislation and UK legislation. We expect this will not change, unless it becomes confusing for consumers. From 1 January 2021 you can use both markings to show the product complies with EU legislation and UK legislation.


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